Sunday, September 30, 2012

Color Me Rad - Ellie, Kohlton and Christy

Saturday was a crazy, busy, fun and wonderful day. It seems like Ellie is bent of filling every minute of good weather with as much adventure as she can possibly stuff into it. Her friends and I are happy to hang on and join in the ride.
We began with the "Color Me Rad" run at the Chatfield Bontanic Arboretum.
There were about 3,000 runner, most of whom started out in white, fully anticipating the promise of streaks of color that would be splashed and splattered on them as they ran the course.

Getting there was a bit more stressful than I think any of us had anticipated. Though we left early, there was still a serious clog to the exit ramp on the highway. After taking 15 minutes to move less than 100 feet, the kids and I decided to jettison out of the car, run down the hill and over to the venue. It was a good thing that we did as Connie got the car finally in the parking lot just minutes before the start.
Although everyone was signed up for the same starting time, they ended up sending them in waves of 300. The wavys went on for hours as some people did the course several times.
The kids started out running, but soon were slowed to a walk due to the crowds on the course. But now matter, they were just in it for the fun and to benefit a good cause.

Even as I stood by the final color station, I was covered in fusha colored corn starch that was wafting through the air. In the fun at the end, we splashed more color on each other. Christy says that it was the most fun that she had had all year.

The flurry of activity made the kids silly.It was a lot of fun.

Ellie had a lot of color in her hair. I tried to catch the cloud as she flipped and swung her hair, but did not capture it.

They announcer kept the crowds lively from his perch on the top of a boom crane. He sent out a variety of goodies such as bandannas, color bomb packets and passes for next year. He simply loaded them up into an air cannon and set it off. The crowds cheered and wiggled with anticipation and joy.

It took 1.5 hours to get out of the parking lot. During that time we found Missa and James. (Missa is Christy's sister) We joined them for lunch at a local Mexican restuarant. The servers did not seem put off by our colorful show.

After showering, we packed up the van and went camping.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Making Tutus for Two Cute Girls

This evening a thunderstorm made a lazy trip across the city, the rain thrumming on the skylights above my head while I cut strips of white tulle to make tutus for Ellie and Christy to wear at the Color Me Rad 5k run on Saturday. Too bad I could not come up with something fun for Kohlton. He is a good boyfriend and will not begrudge my lack of a special accessory for his efforts at the run. It will be pretty fun.

The runners start out in white. While they run people throw color bombs (colored corn starch) at the runners. We are hopeful for good weather and a fun time.

Here are a few songs I am enjoying. They are by Daniela Andrade, a talented young woman from Canada:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede

I feel bad about posting so infrequently. Now that we are six weeks into the school year, you'd think that I'd have my groove back, but I just don't. Between doing Paleo and having a broken oven for two months, my excitement for cooking is somewhat stunted. I am hopeful that the back ordered part for my oven will arrive this week. I would not have guessed how often I use the oven. Oh well. The absence of something helps you realize its value.

This past weekend Ellie and I were in Winter Park for the last time this season. We shared a hotel room with another rider and his family. I like to give Ellie a chance to acclimate to the altitude before high mountain races. It reduces her headaches.
Ellie was less nervous than at the previous race, but still concerned. She wanted to get a good start and ride without any technical issues. She was off of the line like a rocket. It was exciting to watch. She zoomed up the hill. This course was very much like a cyclocross course, so it was almost like it was built for her skills and her power.

By the time she passed me on her first lap she had a wide gap between her and the second rider in the category. It was about 1 minute and 10 seconds, which is forever in a race. She was looking strong and in her element.

Somewhere between that lap and the next one, she lost a lot of ground. She took a drop hard and landed on her seat wrong. The result was that her saddle was now pointing upward. She tried to hammer it down with her fist, but it would not go. She knew that she could not do the remaining miles standing the whole way so she was forced to stop and ask for a tool. She pulled in to a sharp full stop next to a course marshal. He took his time to cheer for all of the riders that were passing by. Then he pulled out his tools and slowly went through each one until he came to his multi-tool Then one of the spectators wondered if Ellie would get a time mark for getting help. They discussed this and it was decided that as long as he does not touch her or the bike, there would be no time demerit. All the while, Ellie is waiting anxiously, know that clock is ticking and that her competition is passing her by. Once she got the tool she fixed the seat and was on her way. The process took at least two full minutes, putting her in fourth place at that point. (The lesson learned here is to carry your own tool.) She was able to close some of the gap and catch the third rider. Although she made up much of her lost time, she came in third place. She was not pleased with that result, but will use that experience to fuel her next race.

The girls race before the boys. That left Ellie open to cheer on the rest of the team .

It was exhilarating to see to see them fly by at the start of their races. The bright yellow of the team kit makes them easy to find.
Ellie greeted each team member at the end of his race with a bottle of Gatorade. It made me smile to see how much they care for and support each other.

Several of the kids on our mountain bike team come from Black Sheep, Ellie's Road and Cyclocross team. One of the boys who is actually on the Monarch HS MTB team was hanging around at the edge of our camp. He seemed a bit lost. When the Black Sheep kids noticed this they invited him over and offered him some lunch. Elijah looked reluctant, but thankful for the offer. We came to learn that he feels more comfortable with our team than his own. Over the course of conversation we learned that his home had burned down to the ground that morning. It seems that something exploded in the basement. The family got out with what they had on. Everything else, including the cats, was lost in the fire. I was amazed at the amount of composure Elijah displayed. Again, I was so thankful to have such a wonderful team, one that could welcome a rider from another team and offer him unqualified support. That is really what is important - supporting and celebrating each other.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Wonderful Weekend - Bike Racing, Dinner Out, Sunrise Drive and Dancing + Recipes

We had a crazy busy weekend.

We had dinner at Root Down. It is a very popular, hip restaurant. The food was really wonderful. We started out by sharing an order of sweet potato fries with a curry and lime yogurt dipping sauce. We followed that with the salads of the day. I had Steamed PEI Mussels / Thai Red Curry Broth, White Wine, Israeli Cous-Cous, Scallions, Fines Herbes & Grilled Bread as I had been craving mussels for about six months. (I am the only one in our family that likes them, so I don't make them for dinner.) Don had peach bourbon BBQ Pork sliders and Larr had steak. We had Chocolate Hazelnut Torte / Macerated Cherries, with Hazelnut Powder & Chicory Devonshire Cream for dessert. The decor was a lot of fun. The ladies' bathroom was decorated with bathroom scales, one of them was even covered in pink fake fur. I would like to take the kids to eat there some time. Ethan was working and Ellie was at a friend's house.

Earlier in the morning Ellie did the Kick It CX cyclocross race. She was jazzed about getting to do the fly over. They often close it off to juniors.

We really enjoyed the t-shirts at the Endurance Conspiracy booth. I loved the orange shirt with the monster shouldering the bike and a bag of courage. Ellie thought about that one, but opted for one with Chubaka riding a CX bike.

She also got to try out a Pugsly bike over at the Pedal booth. Our friend, Tom, works there. Ellie really liked the bike. Tom says she needs one. I told him that at $2,000, longing is a good thing. He laughed.

On Sunday, Ellie started a new season on junior instructor for the Cotillion Academy. This year she is teaching the 5th and 6th grade class. When you see Ellie and Matt, her male counterpart, they kind of look a bit like Ken and Barbie. I imagine that they look perfect demonstrating the dance moves. This time around they taught party etiquette, the Swing, Fox Trot and the Electric Slide.

This morning Larr and I went for a pre-sunrise drive, hoping to catch the sunrise from some beautiful mountain top. We were somewhat successful. That was fun enough that we went deeper into the hills.

I love the color and textures in this photo.

We found ourselves in Rollinsville, which meant that we HAD to check out the Moffat tunnel. Our timing was great and we were able to watch a train come through the tunnel. When Larr was a young boy he was able to walk into the tunnel. Now there is a safety curtain that must be raised for the train to come through.

Italian Wedding Soup (Modified)

1 batch Pete's Amazing Meatballs (see below)
4 cups Chicken broth
2 stalks celery, minced
2 medium carrots, grated
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 teas red pepper flakes
2 teas Montreal Steak seasoning
1 teas paprika
Salt & Pepper (to taste - I actually leave this out)
1 bunch (or bag) spinach
1/2 cup long grain rice, uncooked
1/2 cup White Wine

Make small versions of Pete's Amazing Meatballs. (Mine are about 1 teaspoon each meatball.)
In a large stock pot, combine chicken broth, water, carrot, zucchini and celery. Bring to a boil. Add seasonings and rice and boil for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add white wine, spinach and meatballs to the soup. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve. Add shaved Parmesan cheese on top, if you wish.


Pete's Amazing Meatball Recipe
Our friend, Pete M. makes amazing meatballs. As a boy he had them for breakfast every Sunday. I have fun picturing that in my head when I make a batch of these. They are fun to make and freeze well. They are good enough alone that you don't need any sauce.

Pete's Amazing Meatballs

3-4 TBL Parsley, fresh & chopped
3-4 TBL Basil, fresh and chopped
3-4 Garlic SHoots or 1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1# Hamburger (80%)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese or Romano Cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs (plain or seasoned)
3 Eggs
Salt & Pepper, if desired

Mix the herbs, garlic and hamburger in the food processor or by hand. Add in the grated cheese and process again. Add in the bread crumb with the eggs. Form into Meatballs.

Bake the meatballs in a 350 degree oven. You can also fry them in a skillet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Photo Book

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chalk Creek in Nathrop - HS Mountain Bike Season Begins

Ellie and I spent much of the weekend in Salida. I love that town. She had the first race of the high school mountain biking league race of the season at Chalk Creek on McMurray Ranch in Nathrop.
She was very anxious as she went from racing Freshman class to Junior Varsity this year. She knew the competition would be tough. And boy, was it ever. There were 38 girls in her division, I am pretty sure it was the biggest category of the day.

A few of the girls in her category are national champions in various types of cycling.
She has been ill for about 3 weeks and had not been to practice for the last two weeks.
She rode well and placed 6th. We are pleased with how she rode.

The atmosphere at the races is exciting.

Our hat goes off the the crew of folks who put their hearts into putting on such an awesome race.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Colorado State Fair

My sweet mother has always wanted to go to the Colorado State Fair. It is one of the items on her bucket list. However, since she does not drive on the highway or at night (if at all possible) she did not think she would get there. Once she happened to mention it, I knew that we would have to make the trip. That is such an easy and fun one. And oh my, did we ever make a trip of it.
I think my favorite thing of the entire event was watching the kids get to go on a helicopter ride. How cool is that? So cool. The cousins, Angelo and Lando James, were not interested in sitting in the front; Ellie was happy to take that spot. They turn a turn around the fair grounds and a bit of the neighborhood.

Grandma also wanted to buy something special for each of us. Ellie and I both picked out hats. I've been on the hunt for a good hat that does not look stupid on me for a few years. (There is something about my long hair and bangs that make most hats look really silly on me, no kidding!) Ellie has long wanted a straw cowboy hat and scored a perfect one. I think it looks wonderful on her.

And then there is fair food. I was not really interested in much of it, but we did have to share a few funnel cakes. That is a weakness that I have. It has been years since the last time I had one. It was good, but now I am set for another couple of years.
Then there are all kinds of crazy, fun things. Don't we all need an inflatable brain?

I also loved all of the classic style vendors. I took pictures of many of them. I think that would make a great topic for a coffee table book.

I love the rides like this one. They remind me of the time that I attended the fair when I was a young girl.
it was interesting people watching and seeing all of the stuff you could buy. Some of it was good. Much of it was kind of tacky, and a bit fun.

I would have like to try this one, but we had run out of cash at that point. I also had a headache. Don't you think it looks fun?

The rides were kind of fun, too. The boys got unlimited ride passes. Ellie did not feel the need for one.
The one ride that Ellie did want to go on was the Fireball. The boys stood in line with her for a while, then changed their minds about riding it.

She was into it!

The colors of the rides and the midway were even prettier at night.

We also went through most of the exhibit halls that featured animals. Several of us were smitten with the soft, friendly rabbits.

After a BBQ dinner, we headed off to the Mexican Rodeo.