Long weekend

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Saturday we headed to the Air Force Academy chapel to see it before it closes for renovation (for 4 years.) We hadn’t been in there in a long time and I’m not James ever saw it at all, so it was good timing. This building is new since the last time we were there and we found out the planetarium reopened (and it’s free!)

The plane plaza.

We had lunch at Ivywild food hall, it was a school that went out of business, then a brewery moved in, then another food place, a few craft places and they use the gym for live music and dancing.

Sunday was family weekend at church, Phil gave a great talk about being the person you want your children to listen to, follow and look to. If you aren’t reading your Bible, praying, thinking about God first, how can you expect your children to do the same? After lunch we went to check out the new LM ice cream factory, as soon as they get the slide fixed I’m making a tour.

Monday was Labor day, so James and I had a casual coffee at Legends and the walked around the outdoor mall at Southlands.

The girls wanted to go to the mall, so we dropped them off there and chilled at home. I finished up some reading and then we all went to Golden to swim in the creek. Of course, everyone else had the same idea too….

James grilled hamburgers for dinner and we watched Fool Us with Penn and Teller before bed. That was a long weekend, but a good one.

Wed, Thur, Friday

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From Union Station jazz Tuesday night.

Wednesday the girls did school, I took Jack on some errands – the post office, the UPS store, the eye doc, Petsmart. Thursday James was coming back home so I cleaned the bathrooms, vaccummed, swept, cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. The girls did school and then we took the kayak and tubes to Gravel pond for some homeschool PE.

Jack and I went to pick up James and Jack went nuts in the car. He missed Daddy.

Friday we did school and Jack broke his new ball.

Hannah had a Criminal justice lab based on this TED talk –

Grace learned about a new invention that makes handling sea critters in their natural environment a breeze.

Soft Robot Gives Jellyfish A Hug

Grace and I went out to get water samples and Jack jumped right in (because there was such a big sandbar. )

Upstream.

Right bank.

Downstream.

Left bank.

Tomorrow we’re going to visit the Air Force chapel before they close it for renovations and then we’re checking out a Food hall in the Springs.

First day of school

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Jack – Subjects – chasing the ball, chewing on the ball, destroying the ball, chasing squirrels, chasing rabbits, sleeping, eating puppuccinos, hiking, swimming (as long as he doesn’t really touch the water too much), running around like a terrier.

Likes – balls, food that you are eating, puppuccinos, eating cookies from Zoey’s Natural Pet Market, playing at daycare at PetSmart, sleeping in the car, sleeping in the bed, sleeping on the couch.

Hannah 9th grade Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, pathway – Law enforcement.
Classes – English, Algebra I, Earth science, Astronomy, Intro to Criminal Justice.
Extras – volunteering, working at church coffee shop, co-ops, field trips, Police Explorer post, hiking, swimming, sign language, ukulele.

Grace 12th grade Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, pathway – Agriscience.
Classes – British literature, Practical Math, Forensics, Chemistry, Independent Study.
Extras – volunteering, working in child care, co-ops, field trips, hiking, swimming, digital art, art in general, River Watch station manager.

Me – I am planning more older kid events and field trips – the Opera, the Ballet, the Symphony. I’m looking out for teen library events and get togethers. I’m hosting Teacher’s day and night outs, reading, drawing, collaging, practicing my ukulele, getting some ASL in, maybe some NIA time, hiking, swimming and now kayaking.

The first day of school started with Hannah and Grace doing some on-line work, then we went to the library to walk shelter dogs. I’m not saying we’re getting another dog, but…this one was cute.

Someone asked it Jack was up for adoption – no!

This dog was nice, but it shed everywhere.

We ate lunch on a bench and went back to walk Hera again, though if we got her we’d change her name to Juniper or Piper or something like that. Then we went to Solid Grounds for coffee and school. Grace was investigating the Blainville beaked whale and Hannah was taking notes in Criminal justice.

Later we’re heading to Union Station for dinner and LAPOMPE.

Sunday, Monday

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I was so tired Sunday morning, but I took Hannah to church, she worked at the coffee shop and made me a Mexican mocha (a perk, she gets free drinks.) After church Grace came by to pick her up (she was at Connections) and they went to the Dollar store and Goodwill and Target. Jack almost got his ball broken enough to get the crunch ball out, but not quite.

After lunch, Grace stayed home to paint and Hannah and I went to Chatfield to try out the new kayak and tubes.

In other news, James has been gone 1 day and ……

Goings on this week – (James is at a conference in San Fran), hike, NBTS pics, co-op registration, Denver animal shelter dog walking, school starts, LAPOMPE at Union station, chiro appt, hike, Chatfield, water sampling, weekend….don’t know yet.

Dinners this week – Round steak with onion sauce and side of artichoke stuffed peppers, chicken marsala over linguine with asparagus, Union station food, pepperoni chicken and cold cucumber ziti salad, tacos!, baked potato bar, BBQ and corn on the cob.

Pepperoni chicken

Original recipe yields 4 servings
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cooking spray
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
24 slices turkey pepperoni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub oregano and basil over chicken breasts.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook until browned and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour half the spaghetti sauce into a large baking dish. Lay chicken breasts on top. Coat chicken with remaining half of the spaghetti sauce. Scatter mozzarella cheese over sauce. Arrange 6 pepperoni slices over each chicken breast. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Monday

It was National dog day today and Jack was enjoying it.

We went to Enchanted Grounds so Hannah could do some on-line work, then Cafe 180 for lunch.

Then a hike at Fly’n B park and some extra school photos were taken.

Grace made these dolphin stickers, cute.

Jack finally broke his ball, day 7.

I started on a drawing based on the song ‘All Creatures Of Our God and King’ from church yesterday.

Finished it later.

Watched some TV and went to bed.

Whirlwind camping/roadtrip

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Friday we loaded up the car and headed out. James was flying out the next day for a work conference in San Francisco, so we decided to camp over Friday night (and come back Sat night so Hannah could work at the coffee shop at church on Sunday morning.) Now, I did have a women’s bingo event at church, but I did not want to try to pack up the tent and drive 2.5 hours back on Sunday morning, so we printed out bingo sheets and I still got to play.

Our first stop was Rainbow falls because we’ve never been there (it was closed forever for cleanup, not that they cleaned up the graffiti.) It’s only open Fri-Mon and soon only Sat-Sun and they now have a $1 fee to go in. They fixed up the path and it’s a 1/10th of a mile walk to the falls.

As you can see there is still plenty of graffiti.

They fixed the path, removed trash, put in benches and Da Vinci walls, a bathroom, a little ranger hut and security cameras. You can walk in the water to the falls, I wish it were open in the winter (but I think that’s a no this year.) But, we will come back soon and see if we can get to the cave behind the falls.

Next we hopped back in the car and drove to our camping spot near Rye, CO. It was Ophir creek in the San Isabel forest. We got the spot right next to the bathrooms (on purpose) and the creek was right next to us too. We set up the big tent while Jack roamed on a long leash chewing up sticks.

Once the tent was set up we got a fire going for hot dogs and s’mores (our go to camping food.) I had grabbed condiment packets at the gas station when we stopped, but apparently I grabbed taco sauce instead of ketchup. I told the girls it just tasted like spicy ketchup, but they thought it was gross. So taco sauce, mayo, mustard, pickle relish and chopped onions were the toppings.

When we were ready to get in the tent we put Jack in and he freaked out. I think it was the crunch sound of the bottom of the tent and the fact that he’d never been in a tent before. He went crazy, then spent our whole Bingo game time chasing his ball from one end of the tent to the other.

I gave him an extra CBD treat to knock him out and it worked. He work up about 12, but I told him to go back to sleep. He woke up at 3:30am, which is a normal time, and we went to the bathroom, then he went back to sleep until about 7am. It was cold and we didn’t have enough blankets, I need to get new bags, these are old and don’t zip up and when they don’t zip up it’s harder to stay warm.

In the morning we ate our Belvita breakfast crackers and broke down the tent, shoved everything in the back of the car and headed up the road to Bishop castle. It’s not really a castle, but it’s also not a building, it’s labeled art so that Mr. Bishop doesn’t have to have anything up to code. He has lots of signs about his Constitutional rights, freedoms and signs that say law enforcement and lawyers can suck it. He had a new sign that had warnings like, not responsible for your emotional, physical or spiritual well being while on the property, not responsible for injuries, you might hear foul language, you might encounter angry people. Basically he’s warning you that you are entering his property and he has the right to do whatever he wants. Is he a bit crazy? Yes. If this place ever going to be finished? Probably not.

From there, because we were close and had a pass, we went to check out Lake Isabel. We always pass this on the way to the castle, but never stop and there was a campground there I wanted to check out. I’m glad we stopped at Ophir creek, it was better. It’s really hard to get down to the lake unless you park on the other side and walk in, so we didn’t go to the water.

Next stop a late lunch in Buena Vista. We ended up at K’s burgers because the 2 places that my dog app said were dog friendly were closed and the other one was very busy. K’s was busy too, but they do have good burgers. We took our order to the park and ate there. This time there was ketchup.

We would have gotten ice cream at our fav shop, but we were full. We backtracked a bit to go to the ghost town of St, Elmo. I wouldn’t call it a ghost town as much as a town that is trying to save some of their historic buildings and fix them up. There were a ton of hummingbirds and a place called chipmunk crossing where you could literally be covered in chipmunks if you sat down for a minute.

This humming bird is just red because the sun was glaring through the red feeder it was on.

We walked up the street to look at the buildings, most were closed, only a few were open to go in and there were just signs inside telling about the town and area.

The girls made the ghostly shopping list from Spongebob, so we took pics through the glass.

There was a general store and antiques out back.

On the way home we passed by the chalk cliffs on Mt. Princeton, the Mt. Princeton hot springs, we took 285 back and went through Southpark, did not stop for taffy at the hot dog stand even though it was open and made it home by 6:45pm. I promptly ordered pizza and we took some stuff out of the car.

We did find a lot of things on this trip even it we didn’t stop this time. We passed by the May museum in the Springs. I have heard about it, but never knew where it was. We went on the Frontier byway road which was a nice scenic route. We got to see Lake Isabel and went through Salida on the way to BV. On the way to St. Elmo we passed by Cascade falls, but I didn’t stop to get a picture. I found out that when you have no cell service you will get no maps. I had to plug in the old GPS to get to BV. I mean, I looked at the map on my phone and I probably could have navigated the turns from that, but it was nice to have an electronic backup. However no cell meant no calls or texting to James, and no way to search for dog friendly restaurants until there was a signal. I’m glad I keep that old GPS in the car, it hasn’t had a maps update in 7 years, so in Salida it didn’t know there was a straight shot through town and we were weaving in and out of the town, but we did make it to BV, so….there.

Next time, new sleeping bags rated to 20F, camping pads and ketchup.

Jack

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Jack’s new balls came in and I swear he could smell them in the box. We put them on the kitchen counter and he kept going over and trying to jump up, then we moved them to the top of the fridge (still in the box) and he sat by the fridge barking for a while.

I’m not sure if we got a bad lot last time or what, the pink ball only lasted 4 days and I’ve been taking bets on the orange ball.

We’re at the start of day 3 today and it has a very small tear in the seam (but I count ‘broken’ when he cracks the seam so much he can get the crackle ball out.)

Hannah had a bunch of Class connects to do today, orientation, going over the OLS, it was a lot of review because we’ve been using the OLS for K12 for 14 years. The only difference is how it looks from middle to high school, but she went into each CC session and participated. I had a chiro appointment and then I went to the massage lady at Whole foods. The chiro gave me a front headache when he punched the activator thing on my neck, so I thought the massage lady could help work out the knots in my neck a little more. It’s a bit better, but still feels like I have to pop my neck and it won’t. Still have face numbness, hand tingling, vision stuff and headaches – though those are much less painful, but it’s still there. I have to give the chiro and massage lady some time to work before heading back to the doc to say – let’s look at that tumor in a CT scan and see if something has changed. Hannah wanted to do her last CC at the coffee shop, so we went there and I started on a collage of this drawing.

I took Jack’s not back to school pics, the girls will get theirs done tomorrow or the next day (they don’t start until Tuesday.)

I scored tix to the Corteo Cirque de Soleil show for the me and the girls. It was amazing, we had to drive through a massive rainstorm to get there, but it was worth it.

Co-ops are being posted, I have a field trip to set up, an opera to put in numbers for and I’m waiting for the St. John’s music at noon schedule and the Fox theater cultural show schedule to come out. We’re doing something tomorrow, hiking somewhere – not sure where yet. Then after some testing on Friday we’re heading out to camp – fun. And finally, here are some pics from the HR backcountry cam.

Swimming and skating

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After starting the co-op board the girls and I dropped off Jack and went to Golden. I bought new tubes and they were actually in the garage still in the box, but I also ordered a kayak and I thought that was what was in the box….oops. Hannah floated in the tube, Grace and I swam. Grace ended up hauling 8 pairs of sunglasses, a toy colander, a clip, hubcap, lock, 3 pieces of glass and a fishing bobber hook. I found….a log.

The flow was down and since school started there were a lot less people floating by.

I still owe Hannah another float day there with the new tubes. Video here and here. 

Today we had a roller skating co-op in the morning. Since Grace is the only one who skates around here and has her own skates, she’s the only one who went. Jack had fun chasing her and then running after a water bottle. Video here.