Friday, June 29, 2012

Cherry lovely Jam

I remember a boy I liked in high school asking me why my face was always red. "It's like a cherry!" he said. At the time I felt like asking why his face was so mean. Instead I mumbled something weak about how sunscreen could only do so much for a red head like me and running was a bad sport for the fair skinned at the altitude where we lived. But now I can't think of anything lovelier than cherry red. So I suppose if my face is going to be red in the summer, let it be red like cherries...

Just figured out today how marvelous making a batch of cherry preserves can be. Thank you to a work friend who let me raid her tree up to about 5'7" + an arms length and then to a domestic goddess of a sister-in-law who taught me all the tricks over the phone when I needed reassurance that I wasn't going to give myself and others botulism in this batch. I can't even explain how serene and gratifying it was to hear the lids snap and pop into a seal when I took them from their water bath. Looking forward to trying some things like this with the Western Slope peaches I ordered for August:)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

So glad you were born...

A very happy birthday to my Matt. Part of the celebration, of course, included homemade cake with friends. Though the cake turned out marvelously, if I do say so myself, it was nothing compared to the decadent joy I have had sharing my life with Matt. Life has never been sweeter:)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

'Tis the Season

Last week was the Arvada Kite Festival. And Matt and I were pretty popular among the 5 year olds with our shark kite. It was the only one there and flew well in spite of weak winds.

We bought this kite in Boulder the weekend before at Into the Wind, a kite and toy shop on the popular Perl Street. There were many adventures to be had with the toys there. Let this picture speak of a few of them....

Back to the Kite Festival...
Indeed there was no shortage of neat looking kites (though an inordinate amount of box "Clone Wars" kites for some reason).

It was only a shame there wasn't a breeze to keep most of them aloft longer than a minute.

Our friends Roxanne and Des engineered a little cheating help from a helium balloon which promptly popped when the diamond kite inevitably crashed to the ground.
Despite the not so friendly kite weather, it felt oh so fine to bask in a bit a sun for awhile. I could take kite watching and sun (as long as I was prepped with my hat and sunscreen) every weekend from here until fall.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Mum

What luck that this year landed me close enough to share the birthday season with her. We always have such a fun time together. If we aren't chatting and running/walking on a beach or mountain trail together, give us an art museum. We will spend an inordinate amount of time to get just the right picture...

Love you mum. I forget how old you are all the time. If you were a superhero your super power would be staying young-at-heart no matter what birthday you are on. *That is, after your super powers in finding just about anything for the "right price" at TJ Maxx and never forgetting to take in and appreciate the simple pleasures in life.* So on your birthday this year, I have to say thanks for always keeping me young;)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring is Sprunging!

And with that came some good kite flying wind. Earlier in the week I made kites with the teens, NonfictioninFiction has more on that, and it got me anxious to do some kite flying myself. And so we did, with a handful of friends. Our traditional diamond kites were fine enough in the wind, with some attention and finesse, but nothing compared to our friend's Hornet Kite. He had gotten it as a birthday gift several years before and had yet to try it out. It was magnificent.
Watching it made me want to invest several hundred dollars into an awesome kite. Who knew how cool life could be, spending an afternoon with a Hornet Kite!

Still, with good company, flying $5.00 kite can prove to be most gratifying as well.

Three cheers for balmy transitional seasons! With the fresh and sunny weather, everything is taking on a new kind of pleasurable these days.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Experience Zone - Singing Crystal Goblets

Well it is finally up and running! It was took some logistical acrobatics but if there was one profession you would want to count on for such creativity (on a dime too) it is public librarianship. Here is the final product out in the music collection.

The goblets were tuned with marked water levels (to make up for evaporation) to the scale of E flat. There weren't many other options as we experimented. There was a brief instructional video put out on how to get the best sound and a quick-glance fact sheet about what makes crystal goblets sing, why use a wet finger, as well as Guinness World Record references.

As always, it was very much a group effort. The conception came from wrangler Zen, the tuning and construction help came from wrangler Cory, the instructional film from concierge Nick, IT Matt backed us up to help us convert the cumbersome FlipCamera format into DVD player-able. My part was overseeing the project (construction with Cory, filming with Nick, etc), getting the goblets (testing them with water bottle in hand at ARC Thrift), doing the informational signs, etc etc. 

The work really seemed to pay off when, not more than 30 minutes on the floor, the goblets attracted about everyone in the teen area. There were literally squeals of delight from a handful of them - reminded me of my art instructor days when I got out of the oil pastels. At one point, I couldn't get one of the teens to leave the library when we were closing because he kept playing with it. "We open tomorrow at 9:30am if you want to play with it some more". He was thrilled, "You mean it will be here when I come back?!" I was thinking - with the work it took to get this thing going, I am hoping to get a few weeks out of it at least!

And as you can see from the film below, we had a great time as staff testing out the goblets along the way too. 

Have I mentioned recently how much I love my job?

Monday, March 12, 2012

She Flips! She Turns!

4 months of practice and I think I got 'er down. I was convinced, until last week, that flip turns could only be mastered by those that learned them young. Then suddenly, it just "clicked" as they say. It's not perfect but good enough to cut off some time and not dread it each time I come to wall.

No flailing arms! No feet missing the wall! No water up the nose! And a good glide to boot.

And the best news is that I can finally do these consistently without getting dizzy or falling apart.

Oh and did you notice my rocking rubix cube cap?

May I recommend?

Matt stumbled upon Icelandic singer Olaf Arnalds recently and her songs have been swimming through my head ever since. From what I have heard thus far she does Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, etc covers as well as songs she has written in her native language, like "Klara" - about her sister I think?

I think she is lovely. See what you think. Here are a couple of her Dylan covers...Notice her Charango - makes such a haunting, beautiful sound.

If you visit her MySpace page, you'll find:

"A voice of instantly captivating, spring water chasteness possessed of a magical, otherworldly quality that is simultaneously innocent yet ancient ('sometimes between a child and an old woman' according to no less an authority than Bjork)"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Speaking of Shticks...

I was sorry to learn that the Austin icon, legend had passed yesterday. If and when I make it back to that town, I know I will miss seeing him work his "keeping it weird" thing on South Congress.

What's Your Shtick?

Whether or not you are willing to admit it, you have one or at least wish you did. In high school, I developed one in the cross country culture. Since we were all pretty much the nerdiest sport in school, it was easy to take this persona on:

Now remember this was high school; and it is also worth noting that this was posed for a student government poster for my campaign theme: "Ready, Set, Vote for Cate!" So the blanket cape (courtesy of my grandmother) was not something I habitually sported. Still, the hair stuff, and the "racing socks" were regular fare at a meet - not to even mention a spoon staff (missing from picture) but that merits it own discussion for a later date perhaps. At any rate, it is no surprise that I ended up with the "Spirit Award" 2 years in a row at the end-of-the-season banquet. The thing is, though I fancied that I was a competitive runner, I would never be MVP - or whatever is the equivalent in nerdy sports like running. And thus I adopted a shtick, something to help me stand out when my times lacked in comparison to others at a big meet.

So with a new sport, where I find myself in the same position of being good enough to keep up but not really to set myself apart from the rest, I have taken up a new shtick. Thanks to some saved birthday money, I was able to jump-start the investment into collecting novelty swim caps. I can't tell you what a thrill it will be to show up 5:30am in one these:

As you can see, I have some seasonal stuff going here so there will most likely be a bit of a rotation of when I wear these throughout the year. The Rubix Cube one can be year round though and I really looking forward to busting out the Turkey one on our big Thanksgiving swim. The final one of Washington Crossing the Delaware will actually go to my dear swimming mate Tom who has worked tirelessly on my flip turns and kept me honest on my pacing at the early swims. Afterall, he is among those that have to sport the speedo so I thought it was most fitting for him to have it (last one from a discontinued make too!) Missing from this line up is an autumnal leaf collage cap and a fireworks cap, both of which I couldn't find the images online anymore.

Three cheers for hoping to become "that girl with the funky swim caps". I am going to start a revolution:)