Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I'm ashamed that I've not put many miles on this past year.  Last summer I started out strong with good training, a metric century, several 75 mile rides and an intended full century, which was thwarted by too much beer and sushi mid-way through the ride.  Priorities. 

This summer has been a season of nothing.  I've done a few quick 25 mile loops but nothing more and I've felt guilty about it all summer long.  What happened to me taking off work for the sole purpose of doing a good strong, long ride?  What happened to getting up early on a weekend day and taking off for a few hours of mom time?  I have the support of my boss (who, by the way, just qualified for her second go in the World Championships of X-Terra Tri's next year in China. Go Chief!) And I have the support of my family....but I've been nothing but lazy.

On Sunday I finally got off my butt and did 40 miles.  It was nice and I felt good enough when I returned to do a few hours of gardening.  Of course I was exhausted after that, but it was Sunday night and all I needed to do was hang low.  It was good to know I had the energy to go and could have gone longer.  I'll do a bump to 60 in a couple of weeks after I return from yet another trip to the heartland this week.  And then keep bumping up.  Maybe look to do a Thanksgiving Century with my brother?  We could take off early in the morning, leaving my mother and the Baker to cook, and return to a traditional turkey day spread after a long day of biking.  Hmmmm.....

Anyway, here are a couple of shots from my little ride.

Ran into an unpaved detour along the Cherry Creek Trail.  Most of it was fine but there was a treacherous little spot winding up a tiny bank where the ground was beyond loose.  I had to walk although many were riding it just fine.

After circling Cherry Creek Res, about 25 miles into my ride, I stopped at a shady little spot for a snack.

It was pretty peaceful, save the dozens of bikes whizzing by.  Several others took my lead and stopped as well in this spot, which is pretty common.  It's shady, quiet and has an acceptable view.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't You Hate it When

You arrive at the office and find that someone has stolen your parking spot. 

Just another day at the office......

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is that you Joan?

Straight from my mother's cedar chest where it had been sitting in moth balls since the late 50's. 
A gorgeous, very soft wool, made in Italy.

Super fine strips of leather accent the neck and two front pockets.

A brooch from Grandma's jewelry box.

Ta Da!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


It began with some newly dug fingerling potatoes from our garden, asparagus and a couple of rockin' steaks.

Then there was some of this....

And then there was this.  Nom!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Raining....Does that Mean Fall is Finally Here?

I had a meeting at Invesco Field yesterday and I knew it was likely to be raining in the afternoon but generally in Denver that means a quick storm that blows in fast and blows out fast.  The meeting was on the west side of the stadium complex and I could see the grey skies start to dump soon after I arrived.  Several hours later when I left, it was still raining, albeit lightly.  I always keep a couple of plastic bags in Vivian's bike bag in case of rain since she's equipped with Wald folding baskets.  I'd also brought along my rain slicker. 
It was a nice, wet ride home.  I enjoyed it because light rain for extended periods is so rare here.

Something that I took note of the whole way back was that folks in Denver rarely dress for the rain.  Lot of bikers, runners and folks just generally walking around but only a few wearing rain gear.  You just don't need it because the rains come and go fast and you dry off so quickly in the desert climate.  Love this place!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Crash 'em up, baby!

B2 and her friend were totally enthralled.  
As it should be.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Fall,

I'm so happy to see you but why do you keep leaving? This whole deal with greeting us in the morning and leaving by mid-afternoon is just plain silly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Morroccan Meatballs

Letsee, we have lots of tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley in the garden.  Whatever shall we do with them?  Why Moroccan meatballs of course.  This is one of my favorite tagines and its best when made with lots of fresh tomato so I generally only make it when our vines are full.  Generally  made with ground lamb or beef, I had already thawed some ground turkey so despite the fact that I couldn't get the meatballs quite as small as I'd like, it worked out well.

I start by making the meatballs. I finely chop a small sweet onion, add in a heaping hand full of Italian parsley (chopped) and a healthy dose of good paprika and cumin.  I tend to take it easy on the cumin in the meat as I find it can be a little overpowering if you aren't careful. I focus the cumin flavor in the sauce where I can more easily gauge the flavor as it cooks.  Once these are well blended (adding in bread crumbs only if necessary to soak up some moisture), form into small balls and brown in a good amount of olive oil.  Ideally these should be one nice bite or two small bite meatballs.

Once the meatballs are browned set them aside and prepare the sauce.  Saute finely chopped onion and garlic in the oil from the meatballs.  Add in 4-6 roughly chopped skinned and seeded tomatoes, a large hand full of chopped flat leaf parsley and add in good paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Once you have a thin sauce consistency, add in the meatballs cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.  Taste regularly to check flavors and because it's good.

More garden goodness on the side - tomato, cucumber and red onion in a sweet vinaigrette.

Serve with a good crusty bread, you'll need the crust to hold up as a utensil.  The baker baked baguettes while the sauce was simmering.

B1's Moroccan influence must have rubbed off well on B2.  She eats like a pro!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It must be that time....

Tour de Fat!

Me and Matt kickin' it right!

Some of my Museum peeps stopping by the Depot booth.

Bamboo, titanium and fun!

Who is the boss anyway?

Mad Cow!

My two worlds collide as one of my Depot colleagues helps out one of my Museum colleagues with a flat repair.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Delights

I headed out this morning to my favorite thrift store for their annual Labor Day 50% off sale.  As did about 7,376 other people.  It was like a Toys-R-Us on Christmas Eve - absolute madness!

I did OK, although not has good as I could have if I'd stuck around longer.  I judge my thrifting success by the average price per item.  Today that figure was $1.71.  That truly is success!  Everything is in the wash now and there's nothing super original and demanding a photo so I'll just list what I got:

-cute little picture frame (this was a stupid purchase since I just brought home several frames from the big purge of my mom's house.)
-Knee-length seersucker skirt
-Summery denim skirt
-Channely-shaped bright royal blue sweater jacket
-Boring cargo shorts for the Baker
-Burnt orange 3/4 sleeve cotton sweater
-Black belt
And I'm totally blanking on the last two items.  The haul was practical and nice but completely underwhelming in the grand scheme of thrifts.

Before any thrift I require myself to purge....and purge I did!  I got rid of a full garbage bag of clothes and handbags from my closet and a half bag of shoes.  I also purged linens, just because.  I'm not sure why I have (had) so many sets of sheets!  On the up-side I found a quilt made by my great-great grandmother and one made by my great grandmother that I'd forgotten I had.  I come from a long line of quiltin' ladies so we have many, many heirlooms spread around the family.  My mother keeps the best of the best and I get the rest.  These have been well loved and unfortunately, I don't get them out too often as they don't have much left to give.  Those old fabrics just loose their stuff over time.  My mother can go through most every quilt we have and tell us where certain patches came from, typically from grandmothers' dresses and aprons.  I also found an afghan that my kindergarten teacher made for me for my college graduation!  It's in my school colors. 

                                                                            Dresden Plate, hand quilted

Nine Patch, tied.

Two other quilts went into a bag for repairs.  One is a patchwork my grandmother made for me, which needs a new backing.  It's just tied so it will be easy to fix. Another is one my mother made for my high school graduation that got ripped a few years ago.  This one is machine quilted so will be a little more challenging but nothing like having to repair one of the hand quilted pieces!  I'll work on these on some snowy day this winter. I used to quilt a lot but haven't for years.  The last quilt I started was when I was pregnant with B1.  I topped it but never finished it and ultimately ended up giving the top to a friend who I knew would finish it. Don't know if she ever did.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remember those gloves?

 My hands are going to be stylin'!

Italian leather from my mother's late 1950's European extravaganza!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Did I mention the patterns?

We have several of the items made from these patterns however, only a few fit my 2010 figure.  Women in the 50's were expected to have freakishly small waists evidently!  My mother and I have decided to alter some of these and remake some of her favorites - for me!  I'm so lucky to have an early '50's trained home economics teacher for a mother.  The woman has some mad sewing skills, only partially handed down to me.  I found several things I made in my youth and I was a much better seamstress as a tween than I am now.  I'm looking forward to brushing up!

This is one of my favorites!  My mother made the far left version in a similar blue as her wedding going away suit.  I then wore it for my first wedding in 1988.  I weighed around 110 then and had to loose weight to fit into it, but it was totally worth it!   We have the suit and stored with the wedding gown.  There's a hat as well and I'm hoping its in one of the many hat boxes.  We did those a couple of months ago and I can't recall if we found it or not.

We have this in a dark grey wool.  The sleeves are 3/4 and it's the no-collar version.  Unfortunately, it has some pretty serious moth damage.  I think it might work for a great Joan costume for Halloween though!

A favorite!

We have this one in a fun fall print that I'll pair with a little black cardigan.

I'm pretty sure I'm far too short to pull off one of these but oh, what fun they are!