Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fun: Ducks in a Row

I thought these ducks were so cute sitting on the cement: 

Then I looked closer and wondered what they could possibly need to measure...?

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend and hope the same is true for you!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rough Summer

I usually try to keep my posts light because there are countless sources for bad news on the internet, but this has been a rough summer in Colorado. Voracious wildfires, devastating drought, and the unfathomable tragedy in the movie theater in Aurora have left me feeling beleaguered. Anxious. Sad.

But I honestly believe that acts of heroism will always outnumber acts of terrorism, even if the former don’t have as long of a media half-life. Take, for example, this story of the New York man who caught a 7-year-old girl after she fell from a third story window. He didn’t want to be called a hero, but he is one. So are all the many people who have helped, and will continue to help, the fire and shooting victims and the farmers in my state.

The world can be a tough place, but one of the surest ways to make it better is to try and catch each other whenever we can.

Now, because I like dragonflies, here's a picture I took last year in Florida:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Road Tripping: Topeka, Kansas

The only tires-on-pavement road trip I've taken this summer is to Topeka, Kansas, which is about a 9 hour drive from my house. On the way home, I realized that although I've been there many times to visit family, I don't know much about the place. In case you don't either, here are five Friday facts about Topeka:

Topeka's Capitol Dome
Topeka means "a good place to dig potatoes" in the language of the Kansa and Ioway Native Americans;

Cedar Crest, the Kansas Governor's Residence in Topeka, is the smallest occupied governor's home but sits on the largest piece of property at 244 acres;

Topeka's Washburn University is the only municipally-owned university in the country;

Lake Shawnee in southeast Topeka is the location of the only fully-staked 400-meter dash rowing course in the world and hosts the annual Great Plains Rowing Championships; and

According to Weird Facts, it is forbidden and/or illegal in Topeka to: drive one's car through a parade, sing the alphabet on the streets at night, have a snowball fight, spit on the sidewalk, own a pit bull, scream at a haunted house, haul a dead chicken across Kansas Avenue, drive cattle through the streets, or install a bathtub.

Now it's time for me to get crackin' on my A to Z Road Trip. I hope to start at #1 and make it through the entire list, including all the random blogs I've already visited. Maybe we'll bump into each other on the information highway!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Jazz Experience

Last weekend was our annual Fort Collins Jazz Experience. It's nearly a week of jazz-related history, art, food, drinks, and live music. Much of it is free (not food and drinks, sadly), family-friendly, and outdoors in two of our great downtown plazas. 

Dave and one of the gypsies
While my husband helped oversee a baseball tournament, my sons and I spent some time in the Oak Street Plaza on Saturday evening enjoying gypsy swing by Dave and the Gin Mill Gypsies and hot clarinet swing by After Midnight

After Midnight

The Jazz Experience is always a great event, and this year, the weather was perfect for chillin' with malts from our favorite ice cream shop while we listened to hot tunes. 

Vanilla or chocolate? Tough choice for me, so I had some of each.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photo of the Week

Hey, it's Friday the 13th. But I'm not superstitious about it, so for me, it's just another summer day. Speaking of summer, is there anything more fun than spending it at the swimming pool? It has certainly been hot enough for it here!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Old Town Book Fair

My city hosted its first Old Town Book Fair last weekend. It was an enjoyable time--lots of new and used books to browse, beer (which I skipped), coffee (ditto; it was an iced tea day for me), and live music. Kids had a lot of fun with craft activities and the giant Scrabble board. (It's hard to tell from the picture, but the tiles were about a foot square.)

I attended a short-story writing workshop in a yurt (which I blogged about over at The Writing Bug). And I met local author Lori Juszak, who has written a book about Ghosts of Fort Collins

She and her family operate The Fort Collins Ghost Tour, and the book shares many spine-tingling historical and personal anecdotes about the restless spirits in Old Town and beyond. I bought a copy, and regardless of whether I believe all the stories, the book has forever changed how I look at some of my favorite old buildings. 

I have to admit, I'm a little too creeped out to join one of the ghost tours, but Lori also offers Gourmet Tours, including Just Desserts, Flavors of Fort Collins, International Food, and more. I'll definitely give one of those a try sometime.

I hope you have the opportunity to discover a few great local books wherever you are this summer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blog Vacation

Happy Independence Day! (This beautiful cherry pie was not baked by me--I can only make pumpkin pie--but by the Colorado Cherry Company.) With the heat and the holiday, I've decided to give myself a little break from blogging this week. I'll see you next Wednesday!