Monday, May 31, 2010

The Day Could Not Have Been Better!

Started out with a little bike ride. 

With B1 bein' all tricky 'n stuff.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's for Dinner

This warm corn salad is simply amazing and one of my favorite sides.  The recipe is extremely  simple:
Corn - best if you can have fresh, but any will do
Edamame - frozen is fine, fresh is better
Red Onion
Sun dried tomato
The juice of one lime

Simply saute the garlic and onion in some olive oil.  Add in the corn and edamame and let them warm through. Add in some chopped sun dried tomatoes.  Finish with fresh tomato (grape tomatoes are best), a hand full of cilantro and the juice of one lime. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sometimes I incorporate this into a one-dish main course by tossing with some quinoa and adding some diced grilled chicken.

An Amazing Lovely Sunday Ride

What a perfectly lovely day for a ride!  The inaugural Lovely Sunday Ride was a smashing success.  We had seven lovely ladies come out for a lovely ride.  The weather was a perfect!  We rode through Congress and Cheeseman Park neighborhoods and finished up with coffee, brunch and some had ice cream.  It was in the low 70's with a slight breeze and the spring flowers are in full bloom.  Fantastic!  The best part for me, aside from the amazing weather and great company was that some of the women hadn't been on their bikes for years.  Hopefully this will inspire you all to keep riding!

What's Cooking and Growing Today

G baked up an amazing boule of caraway rye which he used for a kick ass reuben today.  I wanted a photo of the sandwich but it was gone before I could get my camera out.

While the bread cooled I did a little walk around the garden to see if we had anything new.

See You at 11:30!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today on The Satorialist

Go check out today's first photo at The Satorialist.  Awesomeness!

We have a new baby!!

When we got Priscilla we knew she was a she because her specific coloring is sex-linked.  But we weren't sure about Plimpton, who we already had.  So we had him tested and sure enough, he was a he. 

We knew that housing them together would probably result in babies and decided that we'd let it happen once.  We're definitely not interested in creating more pet birds for the world, there are plenty in shelters and foster care, but we have several friends who are so enamoured by Plimpton and Priscilla (undoubtedly the sweetest little lovebirds ever) that we were pretty sure we could take care of homes for one clutch.  Plus it would be a great learning for the kids. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Have you ever typed in "bike" on Etsy?

If you have, you know what I feel - joy.  Pure joy!  I try not to do it very often mostly because I have the capability to be crafty and when I look at all the cool things folks are doing I start beating up on myself.  I was raised by mother who was a home ec teacher in the 50's and 60's - you know, when home ec was cool.  I can soooo sew.  But time is not on my side.  With a busy career and a busy family, I just don't seem to make the time to make anything.  So...I will just patronize my bike loving sistas and brothas by spending some money on their cool stuff.  But....what to buy?

Let's Ride Ladies!

The forecast looks like utter perfection for the first Lovely Sunday Ride!  We've gotten lots of interest and  it looks like we'll have a great turn out!  If you're on the fence simply jump off the fence and onto your bike.  See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How I Got My Bike Groove Back

I fondly remember learning to ride my bike.  I grew up next door to a nursing home which meant we had a great big smooth concrete parking lot to toodle around on.  And since it was a teensy, weensy town that parking lot was rarely ever busy, save shift changes and Sunday dinners.  Like so many others, I have a distinct memory of sailing through the parking lot with my dad holding on to the back of the bike.  I remember the wind in my hair and that first taste of freedom.  I don't recall if I ever rode with training wheels but it really doesn't matter...I was hooked. 

My first new bike was a purple Western Flyer Miss Buzz Bike.  That bike was so full of right on!  When I outgrew it I got a Western Flyer ten-speed.  I rode that bike everywhere! When I turned 14, like most kids in my microscopic hometown in the heartland, I got a moped.  Mine was a Yamaha...a Yama-hopi, according to the commercials.  We literally had gangs of 14 and 15 year olds cruising town and to the lake on our mopeds.  Of course the driver's license came next and it wasn't until college that I got back on my bike - that old 10-speed to be exact.

Soup for the Sickie

I'm on day two at home nursing a crazy inner ear infection. I tried to go to work this morning but by the time I got to the office the world started spinning so I checked my phone messages and headed back home. It's been one of those years with the sicks at our house but it was bound to happen as we'd gone nearly two years with only a few very mild colds among us all.

G sent the kids away to friends' houses so I could sleep.  Perfect!  And he cooked me up a great homemade decongestant - steaming hot salty ramen with kale, ginger, radish, green onion and a healthy dose of sriracha.  It was just what the doctor ordered!

He made this mixed berry fruit tart too but I'm going to have to wait to try it when I'm feeling a little better.  Hopefully there will be some left!  He's been trying to master homemade puff pastry.  I think he's got it!

Oi! The Garage

We really need to figure out a storage system for our bikes.  We have this tiny little garage, so small that I'm not sure either of our cars (a minivan and a small pickup) would even fit - not that we've ever tried.  The garage is filled with the typical things most homeowners keep around however, we're dedicated to small house living and as a result we try very, very hard not to accumulate too much stuff. Bikes are our main exception.

Last fall G built us a nice workbench in the garage.  This was incredibly helpful in organizing all the bike stuff, as well as other random small tools.

We have shelving systems and bins and hooks and all the right tools for organization, but because of the number of bikes and amount of bike stuff, it's still just ridiculously full.  Occasionally we pull them all out and attempt to reorganize, but the problem is never truly solved.  The pic below is actually missing a couple of  bikes which were being ridden at the time.  I'm not sure it's a problem I really want to solve.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Pics from Our Kitchen

This is how to eat cheapo ramen - with fresh kale from our garden and some super spicy asian garlic chili paste made from the garden chili's below.

My New Iris are Popping!

I went outside to check on the weather - several tornados just north of us at the moment - and noticed that my iris have officially gone nuts! One of my favorite spring blooms are iris and because of their drought tolerance, they're very popular in Colorado.  You can generally get iris for free in the fall as your friends and neighbors manage and split bulbs.  I got several dark purple bunches from a neighbor last fall and my mother gave me some from our friends at the Rainbow Iris Farm in my tiny little hometown.  They are absolutely fantastic!!

I love these little flowers and never can remember what they are.  Anyone?

Cycle Chic

I want that BUB!

I'm home nursing a raging ear infection! Having slept as much as I think I can possibly sleep I decided to read up a little on the LGRAB grand prize, a Batavus BUB and I have come to one conclusion....  I want that bike!

You can read about the BUB here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Need a bike?

Hey all you Lovely Sunday riders!  I've heard from a few gals that this will be their first time back on a bike for years!  Everyone who's contacted me has a bike (as I recall) but if you need a bike to join in stop by the Park Hill Bike Depot at 2825 Fairfax in Denver and tell them I sent you!  They have dozens of fantastic used bikes, freshly tuned up and ready to ride  or you can order a new bike! The best part is that all the proceeds go to support bike access and advocacy throughout Park Hill and the greater Denver community!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lovely Sunday Ride

Hey ladies!  The first Lovely Sunday Ride will be this Sunday, May 30 at 11:30. We'll meet at the Pavillions in City Park (on the east side, facing the lake) then we'll explore the Congress Park and Cheeseman Park neighborhoods, ending at The Daily Scoop (ice cream) and Under the Umbrella (cafe and bakery) on 12th and Madison.

This is a once a month (maybe more!) come as you are ride, unless you're wearing spandex, in that case, go home and change. The routes will not necesarily be kid-friendly so we suggest you take this as an opportunity to take a break from the day-to-day and enjoy a grown-up afternoon out. All you need is a bicycle and a lovely attitude!

Bring your lovely selves for a lovely, relaxing, slow ride!  Remember, if you need a lovely bike, stop by the Park Hill Bike Depot! See you Sunday!

In addition to getting updates on our blog, join our Facebook group - Lovely Sunday Ride - for notification of events!

*ride at your own risk*


I hate riding in the wind. Hate it!  I'd rather do 100 miles of steep rolling hills than ride in the wind.  So today, as I heard from folks returning to the office from outside meetings, I started to dread the ride home.  Record gusts.  As it happened though, I caught a tailwind the entire ride home.  Tailwinds are the shiz.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Diggin' in the Dirt

We bought this house four years ago and I'm very happy about how the yard is shaping up.  We've torn up the entire 6,000 or so square foot yard which was full of weeds - specifically goat heads! - and replaced it with beautiful, super lush and soft sod.  We've laid new flagstone patio areas and walk ways. G built an amazing play house, giant sandbox and play area for the kids. We've put in beds that are now flourishing with lovely flowers and shrubs and overall it's getting close to perfection! 

Yesterday we finished pouring the concrete for the base of our Pompeii oven, we planted zucchini, cucumbers, more spinach, more basil, more cabbage, watermelon, acorn squash and green beans, and we stood around staring at the only space in the whole yard that gets cool evening shade and wondered why the heck we're using it as a place for storing various backyard crap....and then the deck plans began to develop.

The boys forming up the oven base.

One of the front yard beds in bloom.

The playhouse.

Blooming chives and asparagus (year two.)  The asparagus has doubled since planting last year.  We should be able to harvest a little next year and eventually it will establish in this whole bed.  In the background is a new grape arbor.  Our vine is three years old and doing well.  I expect by the end of the summer it will be climbing over the top.

The what the heck are we doing storing crap in this spot. A new deck to come!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Night Bike Date

The kids are headed to a sleepover so we're having a bike date!  Woohoo!

Getting ready to head out!

The baker!

The biker!

~*~Pink Magic~*~

A few weeks back I posted this bike on craigslist.

16 inch Trek - Pink Magic! - $4516 inch pink Trek for your pink lovin kid. This is the bike that got my daughter off training wheels in less than 15 minutes! "Pink magic!" she said.
It's in great shape with only a little normal wear and tear. $45

I got several inquiries and ultimately ended up passing the bike along to a friend for her little one. This would be little L's first real bike.  That friend just emailed to say that the bike truly *is* magic.  In two very short sessions totalling only 30 minutes, little L is riding like a pro.

All bow to ~*~ pink magic~*~!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Praise of Keeping the Bubble Small

I like to keep my mind fully open, my travels far and wide and my day to day bubble quite small.  Today was a perfect example of how that tiny bubble enhances my day to day.  I live and work in a 2.5 mile bubble.  My kids school expands the bubble by about another half mile.  B1 had a field trip today that was bringing him to the park where my office sits, so we rode together and he met his class there.  I was able to go to a meeting and then join the kids for some of their tour and lunch in the park.  After school he returned to my office for the commute home. 

 I love that we can live in a lovely, urban neighborhood in a large city and most of our immediate needs can be met within an perfectly bikable (for everyone) five mile bubble - Work, school, grocery store, farmers market, CSA pick-up spot, theaters, doctors, mall, museum, botanic gardens, zoo, lots and lots of great food, wine, and coffee!  My only (perceived) must-have outside the bubble is Costco and I rarely go to Costco for a trip small enough for the bike, even with a trailer.  I try and only go once every two to three months to control my inability to not buy ridiculous crap that's not on my list.  Because of that, the list is always huge and definitely car worthy.  I do most of the weekly grocery shopping by bike.  We are pretty strict meal planners and that practice combined with taking my bike really helps keep the grocery budget in check. 

Now this doesn't mean that we bike everywhere nor would I want to be car free now that I have two active kids. But I'm grateful that I can intentionally drive much less than many people are able to due to the distance between their day to day activities.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Counts and Comfort Food

I took some personal time this afternoon to help some researchers gather baseline data for a study about the work of the Bike Depot.  When the project is fully funded, the work will begin in 2011. 

My counting station was on the corner of Colorado and 26th, a busy intersection not highly traveled by bikes or pedestrians.  I typically take this route when I'm headed to hit the MUP downtown for long road bike rides.  It's generally pretty residential and doesn't have an overwhelming amount of vehicle traffic, however this intersection is very busy. Over the two hours there were around 20 bikes and peds combined - not many.  I took the opportunity to continue my LGRAB social cycling exercise of actually talking to folks! Most of the cyclists were simply on their way somewhere - home from school, to school, to a friends house, etc.  Two were lycra'ed up and headed for an evening road ride.  All were interested in the work we were doing.  I also had several motorists roll down their windows and ask what I was doing.   Everyone was quite pleasant. 

Here's a little summary info regarding the proposed study:

LGRAB Summer Games Update

One of the activities in this first round of the Lets Go Ride a Bike Summer Games is to "leave a nice note on a bike, or say hi to a cyclist at a red light."  I routinely try and chat it up with my fellow commuters.  Since my commute is along a highly traveled bike route in a residential area, its often easy to chat with folks and occassionally I run into people I know.  It's always interesting to see how folks react to conversation when stopped at lights.  Some are obviously in the zone and don't want to be bothered.  Most are friendly and occassionally I find someone who's as big of a bike geek as I am and we talk until I get to my street.

In the mornings I often end up with groups of kids and their parents on the way to school.  It's great to chat it up with the kids who are obviously having a great time biking to school.  My neighborhood is very bike friendly.  There's a monthly family bike ride which takes place each summer and has been steadily in play for eight years now. We try to participate as often as possible.  It's a great way to connect with our neighbors and the local businesses are fantastic supporters. We also have the Bike Depot which is a fantastic resource for everyone in the community. 

When I ride Mrs. Gale folks often comment on her and of course I'm more than happy to tell them way more about her than they ever expect to hear.  This morning was one of those times.  Twice, my "hello's" were followed by "Nice ride!" Yep....I smiled.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'd like you to meet Mrs.Gale.

She came to us a nameless, twenty dollar mishmash of parts courtesy of craigslist.  Her derailleurs had seen better days, she had two front wheels and her seat was a mess.  But her patina was beautiful and she had so much promise!