Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stuff for Cyclefest

Cyclefest, the main fundraiser for the mountain bike league scholarships, is Friday. It is a gala event where the big names and supports of mountain biking in Colorado will be.

This is the entry way poster. It is glorious when it is printed. It will be done on a high gloss paper and mounted on foam core. It is 24" x 36". Heather and Jeremy will both sign the poster and someone will get to take it home. Last year the folks from Primal took the poster. They are one of the most consistent and generous sponsors of bike racing in the state, so it was fitting for them to have it. I have conferred with Austin about elements of the design. We are two arts and graphics geeks taking about colors, lines, visual weight, etc. It is great fun for me to have someone else to talk to about these things. Ellie is great at those conversations, too, but she is busy with her own thing these days.

I also made a spoke nipple necklace and bracelet for the auction. I've only ever made them for specific individuals, thinking about them as I choose the beads and create a design. This will be the only one I have ever offered for sale. It is for an excellent cause and I hope there is interest in bidding on the set.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gardening - Finally Putting In the Vegetables + Teriyaki Marinaded Pork Chops

While Ethan is happy at his job, he was disappointed to have spent so much time thinking about and gearing up for the gardening season, only to miss it. He was able to come home this weekend, so we worked on the garden together.

Here's the plan he made. I love the fact that he drew it by hand instead of making it on the computer.

The raised beds had a lot of weeds.

The tilling went pretty fast. Ethan is like a machine and can till about 5 times faster than I can. Larr was clever and put up the awning so that we could have some shade.

Larr helped, too. He cleared stuff out and transplanted some mint that had volunteered itself in a place that is intended for something else.

Ethan was able to get some seeds in the ground before we ran out of time. I will do the rest later this week.


We had a nice dinner with all of us plus Grandpa Don and Grandma Gay this weekend. We had teriyaki marinated pork chops, grilled corn and roasted green beans.

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Pork Chops (thick tender cut, if possible)
Teriyaki sauce

Coniments (optional)
* Pineapple chunks
* Mango Chutney
* Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Place the pork chops in a large plastic bag or a container with a flat bottom. Pour in enough teriyaki sauce so that the steaks are mostly covered. Let this sit in the fridge for over night - 1 hour. Remove the pork chops and place them on a hot grill. Brush with the marinade and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Flip and repeat. Cook pork chops until the internal temperature is about 138 or 140. Remove from heat and serve. I offered the condiments above just for a bit of fun and variety.

On Sunday night we went to see the newest Star Trek movie. It was great! The references to the original Star Trek were numerous.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ethan Comes Home for a Short While + a Few Recipes

Ethan was able to come home for about a day and a half. He will go back to work on Monday afternoon.

He wanted to have a nice grilled meal so we had steak, fingerling potatoes and grilled corn with butter, lime and paprika.
The kids agreed to a nice picture for mom.

They thought they needed a knarly picture, too.

And well, you have to have some silly photos, too.

Grilled Corn with Butter, Lime and Paprika

Fresh ears of corn with the husks attached
Limes, quartered
Salt and pepper (optional)

Pick out ears of corn that have husks that are bright green and fit snugly around the ear of corn. The kernels should be in tight rows right to the tip of the ear of corn, and be plump and milky.

Gently pull back the husks and remove the corn silks. Sometimes I run the ear of corn under cold water as this helps make it easier to remove the silks. Don't worry if you leave a few on there. They will burn off. put the husks back in place and soak the whole cobs in a pot of cold water for 15-20 minutes. Be sure they are completely covered. This will help steam the corn kernals.

While the corn is soaking, preheat the grill to about 350 degrees. Place the corn on the grill, shifting and rolling the ears a few times to make sure that all of the sides are heated equally. Some of the husks will burn. This is okay.

To serve them, putt the husks back (be careful - they will be hot) and run butter over the ear to coat it. Serve this with pieces of lime and some paprika. Have a light hand when seasoning, or let each person season his/her own.

Seasoned Fingerling Potatoes

2-3# Fingerling Potatoes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt (optional)
Rosemary (Powdered, if you have it. You'l find it at spice shops like Penzy's)
1-3 Cloves Garlic, minced

Scrub the fingerling potatoes and cut them into similarly sized pieces. Toss them with olive oil to coat them. Heat a skillet to medium high. Add in the potatoes. Saute, stirring often. About 10-15 minutes into the cooking add the garlic and rosemary. Saute until tender and nicely browned. Season, or not, to your taste.

Racing (Sort of) at Round Up Ranch and Indian Creek in Sedalia, CO

This past weekend was another Rocky Mountain Endurance race. This one was the Indian Creek race.
All racers and their support crew (the families) were invited to camp at the Round Up Ranch, just a 1.8 sprint down the road from Indian Creek, where the race took place on Saturday.

The kids and I arrive early enough to be part of the potluck dinner that was taking place in the dining hall. It is such a cool building. (I had intended to take some photos the next day, but ended up not having the time.) The front door has a silhouette of a horse head cut out. There are deer heads and a taxidermied cougar handing on the wall. I wish I had taken the photos that night. I was waiting for natural light that would flood the room on Saturday.

The ranch has a long and interesting past. At one point the dining hall housed a bar where a good bit of gambling took place. One of the care-takers gave us a tour of the rooms which run down thin hallways and are atop a narrow, cramped set of stairs. Once upon a time there was a small brothel on the top floor. There are stories of ghost sightings and of a boy being locked in a room where upon the walls looks liked they had blood running down them. Once out, he reported that it looked like someone had tried to paint over the blood, but it refused to be covered. Others think they can see the shadow of a woman standing in the window. There is another locally famous story of a visiting man who won a lot of money. He took his gun out of his holster and shot into the ceiling in joy. The shot barely missed another man who was sleeping up stairs. He came down, demanded to know who shot the gun. Everyone pointed to the winner. The angry man shot him dead on the spot. We walked and road from the dinning hall back to the camping spot; the night was crystal clear, a deep, deep blue punctuated by bright stars. It was a perfect night to kick off the camping season. Mark and Martine joined us that evening.

I worked registration the next morning. My shift started at 6:00 a.m. Luckily, it is easy for me to wake up early, especially when the birds are chirping happily.

It was Kohlton's second race and we heard that the course was tough. He got a strong start.

Kohlton's age group went out with the marathon and half marathon group. They went up the road and into the Indian Creek wilderness. At some point during the race Kohlton took a wrong turn, ending up on the marathon course. Somehow he found out that he was going the wrong way. He turned around and went back to the second aid station. On the way there he witnessed a very bad crash and had a crash of his own.

Kolhton and a few others waited at the second aid station to leave, having to drop out of the race. The man that crashed had to be air lifted out. It took many hours to get that taken care of. The man had experienced serious trauma to his face. This week he had a six hour surgery to do some repair work and is not healing quickly.

In the meantime, Mark, Martine, Ellie and I eagerly waited at the finish line for Kohlton. He did not show when we expected him to. After doing a bit of searching around and talking to the first aid folks, we found out where Kohlton was. We had to drive out and around to Roxbourogh Park to wait for him to be brought out. Ellie opted to skip her race in favor of being there to pick up Kohlton. It was a long wait and they were very joyous to see each other again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Bitter Sweet Day - Saying Goodbye to the Seniors

Today was a bitter sweet day at work as we bid farewell and good luck to our graduating seniors. I have many of my students all four years of their time in high school. I will miss them tremendously. I wish them a bright future.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Springtime in My Garden

Last week when Ethan and I inspected the garden, I was worried that some of the things we had planted had died due to that last spring snow storm. However, this weekend shows that the plants were just waiting for better, warmer weather.

This is the Ethan Andrew Violet, named after my son. His grandmother Eleanor was involved in the hybridization of this plant and they honored use with the name.

These are more flowers from the backyard. The large on is a blue green hosta. The other flowers incllude Russian Forget-Me-Nots, Coral Bells and a hosta.

Here we have bush bean,peas, spinach and two kinds of potato plants. They are great fun to grow.

This is a shot from the front year featuring Baskets of Gold plants.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hopeful About the Summer and Creating A Bridge

My history with my dad is very limited and I lived most of my life with a hole in my life, in my heart. At the funeral yesterday the family left a space for Ellie and I between my dad and my beautiful sister, Jami. At the reception we all had such a wonderful visit. My dad and I talked about art and ink and Photoshop. He works mostly with Corel, but has Photoshop. He would like to learn to use it. I use it often, so I am hopefully going to teach him how to use it this summer.

It was also great to reconnect with my Aunt Rosemary and visit with my cousin, Sherry, who is still about 14 in my head.

My cousin Rena did an great job pulling it all together. I am thankful that we can have such a huge gap in our communication and still feel so connected.

The photo poster I made was enjoyed and appreciated. I gave it to Mike, my Aunt Shirlee's husband of 29 years. It has to be so hard losing the person you have spent so much of your life with. He is a woodworker. He said he will make a special frame for it. I'm glad I could contribute in a meaningful way, even if it seems small to me.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day - a Lovely Surprise + Caramelized Corn

My children gave me a wonderful surprise for Mother's Day. They set a lovely morning buffet in the back yard. It has green and so of lush now that spring seems to suddenly appeared after so much so of late. This gift is beyond the breakfast; it is the idea that they know how much I love a well set table. We ended up inviting Grandma Gay over for breakfast, too.

Ethan made waffles, Ellie prepared the fruit and the handmade gifts. My favorite mug, the one I use every day to have my morning tea, was a gift from Ellie many years ago. This new one fits my hands nicely and I love the polka dot accents.

Ethan had the day off so he came home from Glenwood Springs last night. It is a 3 hour drive one way, so it will not happen very often. He said it was nice to be home, see his family, be part of the everyday actions, smells, goings on of home. I think he is a bit homesick since he lives in a hotel and works really long hours. I wanted to send a care package back with him so I made chocolate chip cookies, a giant pail of bubble gum, 18 hard boiled eggs (sometimes it is hard for him to find time to get reasonable food and eat at work so I thought that the eggs might be quick, easy protein)and caramelized corn. Ellie left a bag of her caramel corn popcorn with a note in Ethan's vehicle.

I also made a nice lunch for all of us and Grandpa Don. I grilled t-bone steaks, made roasted broccoli and caramelized corn. That made Ethan very happy. We had a relaxed afternoon. The men chatted while Ellie and I played the Draw Something II game on her Ipad. We were playing the game with Kohlton. It involved drawing a picture and the other person guesses the word. The three of us make a great team. I feel lucky that we can enjoy eachother's company in such ways. It is a lot of fun.

Here are a few of the images we drew - Hamburger, Patriot, Candle.

My caramelized corn is popular and easy to make:

2# Corn, Frozen
1/2 cup Butter, Salted (1 stick)

Heat a heavy bottom saute pan on medium high. Add in a few tablespoons of butter into the pan, allowing it to melt. Add the corn and stir. Continue use to cook the corn in this way for about 10 more minutes. Add in the remaining butter, stirring the corn around once the butter is melted. Continue to cook the corn, stirring it from time to time. Some kernals will become browned. That is the goal. Cook until much of it is this way. With my pan this takes about 30 minutes. Add salt, if you like.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Aunt Shirlee

On Friday morning I received an email from my cousin Rena telling me that her mother, my Aunt Shirlee, had passed away. I was very saddened by this news.

These are photos of her wedding day in 1955. That other beautiful woman is my Grandmother Micki. I miss her every day.

My Aunt Shirlee had such a generous heart, truly. She loved people without judgement.

November 19, 1938 - May 9, 2013

The funeral is on Tuesday afternoon. I will have a chance to see family members that I have not seen since my Grandma Micki died many years ago.