Friday, June 29, 2012

My Sweet Tooth

Was pretty insistent it be fed last night. With nothing much in the house, the kids and I made peanut butter cups in mugs. Fun and yum!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mountain Air

and a cold mountain stream is just what we needed today.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


To witness a disaster like we are experiencing in Colorado Springs is indescribable. Have to bullet my thoughts.

  • Our house is not in any immediate danger. Our neighborhood is not under any sort of evacuation notice. However, some of the neighborhoods just across the highway from us are under mandatory evacuation. Just feels too close.
  • The kids and I left Colorado Springs this afternoon. We plan to stay in our mountain home for at least a few days. Maybe even a few weeks. Matt has to stay in town to work. Thankfully he can take care of my chickens! Again, we left because of the smoke/air quality, not because of any immediate danger to our home.
  • The smoke has been incredibly bad at times and really affected me. Nose plugged, eyes watering, can't wear my contacts, short of breath, etc. The fresh, high mountain air feels so good!
  • As I packed to leave, I could only imagine what it must be like for the evacuees to have to leave with such short notice. I could suddenly prioritize so easily what should come and what could stay.
  • You better believe I brought my sewing machine with me! It was not easy to leave my stash of fabric...
  • The glow of burning houses last night was so surreal yet very traumatizing.
  • The kids seem to be doing okay. Jack gets a little worked up and scared at times. Trying to keep the news broadcasting and lots of the fire talk away from them. Just knowing there is a big fire burning houses is more than enough for their little hearts.
  • Thank you to everyone who has emailed/texted/called/Facebooked (when did Facebook became a verb?!?). I'm not very good at responding in the best of times, so I'm sorry if I have neglected any responses. It is good to hear from friends.
  • We know lots of people who live in the burn areas. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
  • These are the best photos I've seen of the disaster. I didn't realize how much emotion I had pent up until after I looked through these pictures. I burst into tears. Literally.
  • And then a friend just called to tell me about these aerial photos. Unbelievable.
  • I am torn between being glued to the live broadcasting to stay informed and turning it off so that I don't get all worked up (and I'm a pretty laid back sort of person, except, it seems, in the face of disaster)
  • I emptied the pantry of all nonperishable items before we left. Matt is delivering them to the food bank.
  • And to end on a happy note, my good friend had a beautiful baby girl yesterday. I got to snuggle on her a little this morning before we left. And she happened to be born on my parents' wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day Book 6.26.12

Outside my window... is a general haze from the wildfire. The other night the smoke was so bad we couldn't stay outside in our backyard. It makes my eyes itch and my throat sore. Yuck.

I am thinking...  about a friend having a baby today. So excited to hold a tiny newborn!

I am thankful for... a great tennis partner. We are 6-0 for USTA matches this summer. Last night was a bit too close for my liking, but we pulled it off despite the heat and the 2.5 hour match.

From the kitchen... homemade granola. Mad a batch on Sunday, but gave most of it away. Made a double batch yesterday. Also made a bulgur wheat-lentil salad recipe from a friend. It is really good!

I am wearing... sweaty running shorts and top. Did an early morning run despite my long tennis game last night. My legs feel like jelly.

I am creating... ideas in my head. Not so much on the sewing machine this week. Maybe today I will get in there.

I am going... to take a quick nap and then a quick shower. Yup, taking a nap before 7:30am!

I am reading... nada. Still on a podcast kick. Although I am reading a bunch of old magazines.

I am hoping... for some cooler weather and maybe some rain.

I am hearing... the fridge running, the kitchen clock ticking and Nina snoring next to me

Around the house... pretty happy with the house right now. Do need to load up some donations to go out.

One of my favorite things... my chickens!! Love those gals!

A few plans for the rest of the week: eye doctor appt for Jack, date night, add a few herbs to the empty spaces in the garden, playdate with my friend Nona moving back near by

Here is a picture I am sharing: Car temperature reading the other day (although I think it was really just in the high 90's - that is still record highs for us)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Right Now

Crazy hot weather plus nonstop, wild fire concern calls for a morning at the pool.

And ice cream before lunch. Even for me

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fire Nearby

I was quilt shop hopping with Miss D this morning, and as we headed for lunch, I snapped this photo of a fire just starting.
Taken from UCCS
Since then the Waldo Canyon Fire has spread rapidly. I know many people who have been evacuated from their homes. Even though our house isn't in any danger (half of Colorado Springs would have to burn first!), this fire isn't very far away. I can't help but feel uneasy.
Smoke view from my backyard
They say it should take at least a few days to get it out. Keep our town and those firefighters in your thoughts.

This is one of many fires burning in Colorado right now. I was supposed to go to a running/yoga/meditation retreat next weekend, but that has been cancelled due to the High Park Fire. A little bummed...

Friday, June 22, 2012

30 Days of Organization - #15 Baking Basket

I am highly distractible. Highly. I start one thing, notice something else that needs to get done, which leads to test something else. And I rarely get back to the original "thing." At least not that same day.

After taking a nap today, I no longer felt like a slug and decided to sort through and organize my enormous pile of recipes. As I started sorting, I came across a recipe for high protein banana muffins that a friend gave to me a couple years ago. After making them a few times (and loving them!), I somehow forgot about the recipe. Seeing the recipe reminded me that I had 5 smooshie bananas all ready for banana bread. So I left my recipe sorting project to make some banana muffins. While mixing it all up, I realized that my baking basket was a mess, so while the muffins baked, I got that little basket all reorganized.
I've had my baking basket since right after Matt and I got married. I would bake a lot in those pre-kid, pre-drop-in-the-metabolism days and didn't like having to pull down all the little boxes and jars every time I wanted to make something. I decided to put them all in a little basket to make it easier, and my baking basket was born. I've actually been using the same basket for over a decade. And now it is all clean and organized again...

My baking basket contains baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and muffin tin liners.

Making the muffins also led to a few other organization projects. Guess the recipes will just have to be chaos for a bit longer...
Oh! and do you want the banana muffin recipe? It's pretty yummy for being a high protein. I'm always nervous about sharing recipes for baked goods because I live at a pretty high altitude (6500 ft). I never know if what turns out well for me will work at sea level. Plus I make a lot of adjustments as I go so that it all "looks" right. But I also hate when people blog about a recipe and then don't share it, so here it is...

High Protein Banana Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
2T butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
4-6 mashed bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used greek yogurt today)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used almond butter today)
3 scoops vanilla protein powder (whey or soy... I prefer whey)
1 T ground flaxseed
1 T wheat germ
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used half a bag of mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325. Cream together sugar, butter and applesauce. Stir in eggs. Add bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips, just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin or tin liners (I used about 1/4 cup in each well). Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Muffins about 25 minutes. Makes 3 dozen. They freeze well.

30 Days of Organization - #11, 12, 13, 14

I am still steadily working on little organization projects every day. These 4 were pretty quick ones that certainly don't need photos on the blog!

#11 - clean out undie drawer
#12 - clean out bra drawer
#13 - clean out sock drawer
#14 - clean out PJ drawer

Not big projects, but I managed to fill half a laundry basket with items that I no longer need.


I have the energy and the motivation of a slug right now.

You know it is hot when you find the kitten curled up in the cool marble sink!

Of course it is a good place to be if find yourself in need of a drink.

I'm off to take a nap. Maybe I should try the bathtub?

BTW that's Matt's sink... should I warn him before he brushes his teeth using that faucet?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Works in Progress... getting lots done this week! Highlighted quilts are the quilts on which I'm actively working on. Feel like the list is getting a *little* shorter. Trying to be good about finishing projects and not starting new ones.

Completed Projects This Week
Projects to Be Blogged
  • Crazy Clown Colors Quilt
  • Cute Baby Toy
  • Halloween Quilt
  • Halloween Table Runner
  • Valentine's Day Table Runner
  • Repro Quilt #2 (thank goodness this thing is finally quilted - it was a lot of work!)
  • Pinwheel Quilt
  • M's Quilt
  • Sorta Stacked Coins Quilt
  • Habitat Challenge #1 (I've been thinking about these... have some ideas!)
  • Habitat Challenge #2
  • BIG Carpenter Star quilt
  • Jack's Quilt
  • Wonky Pink Quilt
Cut and/or Pieced
  • Ticker Tape Quilt
  • Green Squares Quilts x2
  • Sew-in Quilt
  • Repro Quilt #1
  • Scrappy Placemats
Non-Quilt Sewing Projects
  • Bath wraps for Kate & American Girl Doll
  • Kids' Xmas gifts for 2012
  • Bike Bag for Jack
  • Mermaid tail for Kate
  • Skirt for Kate (really Kate's project, but she still needs lots of help)

Annual Utah Trip - Part 2

We left Dewey Bridge and headed toward Capitol Reef National Park. Since we left mid-afternoon, we  decided to camp overnight midway just in case the park campground was full. We chose a beautiful spot on BLM land near Goblin Valley State Park. How lucky were we to find an isolated camp site with an amazing vista AND a tree swing!

Flying a kite
Up Kite, Up!
Is this not an amazing place to fly a kite?!?

Lighting the campfire
Playing charades
We got to Capitol Reef National Park the next day and snagged another great campsite. The campsite is tucked between orchards, near the river, and walking distance to an old pioneer house that has been converted to a museum/general store. We hiked, relaxed, got ice cream at the general store, explored the nature center, went to a junior geologist program and a petroglyph talk, listened to Indian storytelling, and earned our Junior Ranger badges. So much more I'd love to say about this National Park. We will definitely go back.
Washing dishes at the campsite
Washing feet
Not a good one, but the only photo
of our camper's insides
(I LOVE having a camper... makes life
so much more enjoyable)
Hiking the canyon

Jack about to DIE

Picking mulberries
(we were a little early for other fruits)
Mulberry Mouth
(and nose and forehead...)
Wool dolls made at the nature center
Kate building the campfire
Best dinner of the trip...
campfire roasted hotdog with
homemade mixed berry pie on the side!
And I didn't take a single photo of our Glenwood Springs stop. It was quick. Got there early evening, hit the hot springs for a few hours, slept with the sound of the river roaring next to us, and pitched off early for home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Annual Utah Trip - Part 1

Going to use as few words as possible as I just want to get some photos up. First few nights we were near Dewey Bridge with Uncle Mark, Aunt Elizabeth and Cousin Marika.
Marshmallow Queen concentrating on perfection
Top of the World
And I drove this up there!
I'm pretty tough...
Matt and Uncle Mark got there
on motorcycles
 We went down to the river one day for a bath...

Kids post bath...
I actually took a bath on the river and washed my hair. My only bathing for the week until we got to Glenwood Springs. Very proud of that!

We also floated down the river, but I don't have any still photos of that. I'll post some video of floating and of me riding a motorcycle soon.

Teacher Goodbye Quilt

Another finish from fall/winter...

Last fall Kate had an exchange teacher from the UK. Kate adored her, and when she was leaving in December, I volunteered to finish a quilt for her. The kids all drew pictures on fabric squares, I pieced them, quilted it, and did the binding. I'm not actually a big fan of quilts made from kids' artwork (that's why for the kindy teacher's quilt I did the embroidered hands), but I think this turned out pretty good. A few things I might have done differently with the kids' art, but I was only in charge of the sewing...

Eric Carle Brown Bear fabric for backing
Kate's square
I still haven't posted our London pictures, but Rachel (the exchange teacher) came down and stayed with us in London. It was really fun for all of us to see her, especially for Kate.