Monday, June 30, 2008

A Lovely Sunday

Went up to Basalt for mass at St. Vincent's yesterday as Fr. Terry was presiding. Such a nice community, complete with coffee, tea, sweet breads, fresh fruit, crackers and cheese after mass. We were taking Fr. Terry out for lunch but he still had one more mass to say so we did some browsing afterwards in the lovely bookstore. HOWEVER, I was disappointed that they had no books by Andre Dubus and couldn't even get them from their distributor. What's up with that? The late, great Mr. Dubus is such a great writer and his deep Catholic faith pervades his writings.

After lunch we hunted down some special tea for Fr.Terry's throat issues, said goodbye, and then headed for Kitchenstore. Tom lucked out and found the Tagine he wanted. He can hardly wait to try it out. It's so nice being married to someone who loves cooking.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Am I Really a Jack RussellTerrier?

Found this quiz on someone's blog and since I like quizzes.......
What dog breed are you? I'm a Jack Russell Terrier! Find out at
Jack Russell Terrier

The Artist

You, my friend, are an artiste! Fuelled by a hounding sense of creativity and an untameable desire to express yourself, you see the world through rose-colored glasses one day and then wrestle the curtains closed and turn off the lights so you can ponder life the next. Your dog-eared journal is filled with brilliant ideas about rescuing the universe, yet you have trouble training your noggin on any one of them for any significant amount of time. Your originality occasionally manifests itself as performance art, and you love showing off your amazing athletic abilities in front of an audience. When it comes to taking on the leader of the pack, you’re not afraid to sink your teeth in - and won't loosen your grip until you've gotten your point across. Learn more »

FAMOUS JACK RUSSELL TERRIERS: Vincent van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Prince, Janis Joplin

LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Painter, Architect, Software Engineer, Activist

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Scientists

Read an interesting op/ed piece in the New York Times. It reminded me of one of our reasons for unschooling. It would always astonish me to hear parents talk about the "terrible twos." I was always fascinated by a two-year-old's inquisitiveness and used to say that two-year-olds were little scientists. My favorite section in the op/ed piece is: "As every parent knows, children begin life as uninhibited, unabashed explorers of the unknown. From the time we can walk and talk, we want to know what things are and how they work — we begin life as little scientists. But most of us quickly lose our intrinsic scientific passion. And it’s a profound loss." Thank you, Brian Greene, for getting the word out!
After living through a toilet being taken apart by a two-yr-old, innumerable questions about how and why, owl pellets in the laundry, and science experiments covering the dining room table, the kitchen counters, and living room floor, I still believe unschooling is a great way of life. And thank you, daughters, (especially the now-18-yr-old college sophomore in the above picture) for letting me learn along-side you. I've enjoyed the ride!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Piano Prince of New Orleans and a video

Last evening we listened to the fabulous piano-playing and singing of Mr. Davell Crawford -- the Piano Prince of New Orleans. Once again we were in awe of what the Noone family puts together for the Glenwood Springs community. It was a Jazz-perfect evening. In honor of that perfect evening (and the fact that I think I may have figured out how to use the video on my little camera) I am adding a short video clip of the concert (with a little glitch at the end that I don't know how to get rid of):

The Summer of Jazz is not without controversy, however. It seems that some folks are upset with the way some parents allow their children to scream and holler while playing right in front of the stage. Because we sit a bit farther back we had not been bothered by the noise but I did wonder if all the movement and commotion might be distracting to the musicians. Apparently it isn't but now the situation has made the paper. I for one enjoy seeing the children dancing and twirling around with the music and this will still be allowed. They just have to be quieter. I like this compromise. It is unreasonable to think the kids have to sit still, after all it is an outdoor concert, and this is a great venue to learn about different styles of music.

It reminds me a bit about taking my children to church when they were little. We would sit up front so they could see what was happening. They had to be quiet, but not silent. They could ask questions quietly, and they could look at their "church books" -- the ones we brought out just at Mass. If they couldn't be quiet enough they would have to leave -- and forfeit the after-mass donut. Apparently that was incentive enough. They were certainly not perfect, but they were good-enough, and I think that's all God expects -- of little ones and also us oldsters!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Strawberry Days

What a fun weekend we had. It was the 111th Strawberry Days -- Colorado's longest- running civic festival. A good time was had by all. Here are some highlights for us:
What parade would be complete without the El Jebel cars! I'm reminded of them everytime we head for Aspen and pass by El Jebel, Colorado. This picture is for you, Emily!

Of course, there were the strawberry cars:

A paraglider in the deep blue sky and a four-horned goat:

The highlight for us: FREE strawberry sundaes!

We ended our festival time with a trip to the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company, commonly referred to as the Brewpub, for some Strawberry Ale. I'm not a fan of beer at all but it actually was good.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy First Full Day of Summer

In the Good Old Summertime

There's a time in each year that we always hold dear,
the good old summer time;
With the birds and the treeses and sweet-scented breezes,
In the good old summer time.
When your day's work is over then you are in clover,
And life is one beautiful rhyme,
No trouble annoying each one is enjoying,
The good old summer time.

In the good old summertime,
in the good old summertime.
Strolling through the shady lanes with my baby mine.
You hold her hand, and she holds yours,
and that's a very good sign.
She will be your tootsie wootsie,
in the good old summertime.

song by George Evans and Ren Shields

Friday, June 20, 2008

To Basalt and Back

We made it to Basalt and back today on our bikes-- halfway to my goal of making it to Aspen. Upvalley from Carbondale the Rio Grande Trail has more of an altitude gain than the trail from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale. At least it felt like that to us. But it was not bad at all. Didn't get any photos of the heron, evening grossbeaks, goldfinches, or redwing blackbirds, but did find these to be interesting:

a little ground squirrel, perhaps -- with a very lovely blond tail!

lunchtime lineup....

not sure what this is, but it had a pirate flag....

a ski chair nowhere............

some exquisite columbines, our state flower..............

Tom was so excited that we were nearly to Basalt that he decided to make an announcement, using a "natural" microphone on the side of the trail.

It took us about three hours to make it to Basalt, due to photographing things and Tom needing some resticles (if you bike you know what these are) We thought about just buying some picnic food at the grocers but decided to treat ourselves instead at the Riverside Grill. This lovely restaurant sits right on the Fryingpan River and lunch was fantastic. My grilled veggie sandwich with brie was quite yummy but I think Tom most enjoyed his cherry pie!

After lunch we headed for home. Our bed looks more comfortable tonight after 42 miles of riding our bikes today. We are so blessed to be living in this beautiful Roaring Fork Valley.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Jazz and Friends Come to Visit

Wednesday we enjoyed a visit from our dear friend, Fr. Terry Ryan, who was on his way up to the Snowmass Monastery for the summer. He is a wonderful Paulist priest who married us, baptized two of our daughters, and encouraged us to try Centering Prayer. We are thankful for all three! If you ever have a chance to attend one of his retreats or missions you will not be disappointed.

Of course, in the evening we went down to Two Rivers Park and listened to this week's installment of The Summer of Jazz. Steve Turre and the Sanctified Shells entertained us with fabulous music which included playing shells! Hated to see it end. Check out his music by clicking on the previous link.

When we arrived home at 10PM we had several missed calls from one of "my CU students." She and a friend were on their way to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival but she had inadvertently told me to expect them on Thursday evening. Thank heavens I checked my phone because apparently there were no hotel rooms available that night. What a fun time catching up with everything that's been happening in her life as a busy 21-year-old. She'll be graduating from CU next year and then it's the real world for her. We hope she continues to come for visits, though, even though she has a thing with popcorn!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Keeping the River Back

As we walked along the Roaring Fork River yesterday we noticed evidence of residents' concern for how high the river was rising. The first house used sand bags, the second a chain link fence. Luckily, especially for the second home, there was no flood.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Made it to Carbondale and the Glenwood Springs Crit

Bike Yes
Water bottle Yes
Bike pump and extra tire Yes
Helmet Of course
Let's go!

Wait...............who didn't check the weather? The beautiful blue, cloudless Colorado sky can be so deceiving. It's nearly freezing out here at 8AM.

Should we go get our fleece?
No, let's tough it out.

I made it up to Carbondale on my bike on Saturday -- about one-quarter of the way to my summer goal of riding all the way to Aspen! Took this photo as proof as I finished alone. My sweet biking partner decided to head back a bit early. Saw gold finches, redwing blackbirds, mountain bluebirds, a heron, a hawk being chased by two small birds, ground squirrels, and several bunnies. This Rio Grande Trail is really so beautiful and peaceful -- and I didn't need the fleece after all.

We walked downtown this morning as it was yet another beautiful day in Paradise. Caught part of the Glenwood Springs Criterium on the way back. Some were really cruising...........

And some were going nowhere fast!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ban on Thongs

Have you heard the news? Thongs are no longer allowed at some pools and beaches around the US. How can this be? As a child I spent many summers at our cottage on Saginaw Bay where I lived in my thongs. I remember the first time I’d put them on for the season, the space between my big toe and second toe would hurt so badly. I had to build up a callous and then it would be okay. Those thongs kept the hot sand and pavement from burning my feet. I’m certain my parents loved them as well because they were relatively inexpensive. Of course if I tried to run in them I would invariably stub my big toe. OUCH! Gosh that hurt. Well, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to ban those pesky thongs after all!

(Picture of thongs: Debra Arif)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer of Jazz

Ahhh..........the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz!

We enjoyed a wonderful jazz concert last night down at Two Rivers Park where Ahmad Jamal played what he refers to as "American Classical." This event is so special. Great music, dinner on the lawn, children spinning and dancing, teens throwing frisbies and kicking soccer balls, and many folks of all ages enjoying the evening with friends. It truly is a community event.

The evening started out with a bit of a downpour but we threw our blanket over our heads and stayed dry. Then the speakers, the piano, and drums were uncovered and the music began.

A little girl ran from one set of speakers to the other, listening intently. It was fun watching her. Sometimes she would stop and stare at the musicians, playing air piano on the edge of the stage. She twirled and sang, thoroughly enjoying the music.
A local artist, Dean Bowlby, sat on the ground in front of us, painting the musical scene. We discovered him last summer after we'd seen him painting at a concert and a few weeks later saw
the painting in an art shop downtown.

The sun came out, we savored a beautiful sunset, and left looking forward to next week's concert.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meditation Humor

Found this meditation joke --it's so true.

It Will Pass

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"

"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!"

"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rio GrandeTrail

Goal for the summer: to ride our bikes up to Aspen via the Rio Grande Trail. Yesterday afternoon we started our "training."

Yikes! Horses are allowed on this trail. Nothing like riding along and coming upon either a huge horse or a pile of goodies he's left behind. And just why is it that you don't have to pick up after your horse but you do have to pick up after your dog? Really, the horse's mess is so much bigger.

Good. Only 40 miles to Aspen. The best thing is: it's downhill on the way home.

That's beautiful Mt. Sopris ahead, still wearing the white mantle of snow.

Arianna and Mallory: Can you tell how far we went? Yes, your old folks made it up to the Colorado Mountain College turnoff on their very first try! About 12 percent of the total trip. And it only took us half an hour. Maybe this is doable.

Lest you think this is a piece of cake, here's what's left of a critter that didn't make it. The trail guide does warn of mountain lions. I wonder if we could outrun a lion with our bikes?

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Favorite Sport Story

When I heard about this story I knew it was the best sport story I'd ever heard. What incredible young women!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I was reading the Fox News website and found a story about a man who had surgery to remove what appeared to be a tumor. Instead, the docs found a surgical towel which was used during surgery performed on him 25 years ago. That part I can understand, knowing that sometimes this happens as the towels are so blood-soaked it might be hard to distinguish and if the towels weren't counted properly-- well, things happen. HOWEVER, what intrigued me in the story is this quote:

"The towel was greenish-blue although we are not sure about its original color."

Did they really care about the original color?!
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