Went to the library

I felt so stupid. I was standing next to the computer, looking all over for the mouse. I looked behind it, under it and I was just about to go ask the librarian where the mouse was….when I touched the screen. Yep, it’s a touch screen.

Guess whose book this is?

book

And this one?

book

If you guessed Grace and then Hannah, you’re right! At this point in her life, Hannah is going to be a cheese making-drummer-magician-dancer-otter rehabilitation expert.

I got this book for myself, it looked interesting.

book

Bethany is on the wait list for the next Selection book, but she is also writing a similar book with a friend, so she may be done with hers before the real book comes out.

Read any good books lately?

Pi day

We came full circle today, a little Pi day humor. Here is a fun site with lots of stuff to do for Pi day.

We started at the downtown library with a little Shakespeare. What I loved about it – the guy performing the monologues from Henry V, Macbeth and Richard II gave us a little information about the play, the setting, what was going on and then went on to speak the piece. The whole concept was change, how do the characters change during the course of the play? So we heard from Henry V at the beginning of the play and at the end, same with Macbeth and Richard. Hannah came away from the program with the idea that all of Shakespeare is about killing, so I had to interject that no, it’s not all like the 3 pieces she heard. Although even his romances often end with killing…but, I digress.

We had lunch and then went to the park to play for a bit.

We saw ducks and this Northern Flicker. The girls described the bird to me and I said, ‘it’s a woodpecker.’ But, Grace didn’t think so because she saw it on the ground.

Later I heard the bird tapping on the tree and went over to take pics, yep, a woodpecker.

The girls played with their friend and tried to fly their kites, no luck today on that.

We headed back to the library so Bethany could do a Makey Makey Mario event. Props to Bethany for even staying in the room, the room was filled with teen boys (hmm…or maybe not props to her for staying in there.) She hopes to make an awesome controller and kick their butts at Mario.

Tomorrow we’re going (for the first time) to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver. Should be fun.

Maya and kites

No, the Maya didn’t make kites…actually I don’t know if they did or not, but kites are later. First off, wasn’t Mt. Evans looking splendid?

Today we went to the DMNS to see the Maya exhibit with our homeschool group, I think we had about 38 kids and that was more than any school group I saw go in.

We started with a movie and then moved into the archaeological area. Some of the items were real, some were casts, some were replicas.

I’m not going to point out real vs. fake, I’d just say go to the museum and see the exhibit, it was pretty cool. (Rule of thumb, if you can touch it – probably not real!)

We found out where the Maya lived, learned how the priests would sacrifice on altars such as this one, saw statues of Kings and played with a computer to print out a name in Mayan.

There were pots to put together and a look at what volume of work someone might have putting all those pieces together.

There was a Mayan calendar on the computer and it would spit out the symbols for any date you put into it. We wandered through the stars and saw how the Maya used the planets and stars to calculate time.

There was a virtual dig, the kids could move an x-ray around and then look closer at an object that they found.

We went through a Mayan marketplace, saw how they played ball (with an 8 lb rubber ball that they bounced off of their hips, ouch.) You could drill a hole in a plastic tooth to see how the Maya drilled holes in their teeth to insert stones and jewels. We saw art, food and dances of the Maya.

Another spot had you take a profile picture and then drag Maya outfits onto your head; this headgear and markings are from a Noblewoman.

We smelled incense, saw a feather from a Quetzal bird, saw how cocoa is grown and harvested and saw weavings and block puzzles. There was a lot to see and read and had we spent more time, we probably would have learned more, but lunch was calling.

After lunch we went into the gem and mineral room, look, agate fractals.

This reminds me of the crystals in the Superman movie.

We went into the Wildlife halls where the manatees scared the girls. We left the museum with A, she was coming to play and go to the kite workshop with us. As for the Maya exhibit, there were more hands-on things to do at the Mythbusters exhibit, but I think overall this exhibit is better. Here is a good site to learn more about the Maya and here is another one.

Kites. We went to the library and had a kite making expert help us make some scoop kites. The girls attached the sticks, the bridle, the string and then colored the kites with markers.

After we were all done we went outside to try them out.

It was pretty windy and some of the kites got busted up after landing hard on the pavement, but it was nothing a little tape couldn’t fix.

I’m just happy all of the kites flew. Here is a site that tells you one way to make your own kite. A good day.

Monday

But, before I forget, I have to tell you about brunch at Jezebel’s….and why you shouldn’t park uphill on the ice. Since the girls were still at the sleepover Sunday morning, James and I got to try another restaurant on our list – Jezebel’s. It’s in the Highlands (what awesome restaurant isn’t?) It’s Southern food and drinks, I was looking forward to some grits and other items. I had the chicken and waffles and I’ve decided that there isn’t just one place that has great chicken and waffles, there must be at least two, Euclid’s and Jezebels. Picture this – a Belgian waffle cut into fourths. You place a waffle on the bottom and add a crispy chicken strip, then a slice of crispy bacon, then a fried egg, then a dab of Nutella, top with the other waffle, spread honey butter and slather the whole thing in syrup. Yeah, I know – amazing awesomeness in every bite. James had the 3 egg Cajun omelet – boudin and andouille sausage, red bell and poblano peppers, white cheddar cheese. I had cheese grits, he had home fries (the grits were better.) If you go, make a reservation, it’s a small place and with food this good I’m sure there is a wait on a nightly basis. Oh, and don’t park uphill in the snow. After many attempts to get the car out of the parallel spot without hitting cars around us, we resorted to the car mat trick. I am here to tell you – it works. If you get stuck in the snow/ice, put your car mats in front of your tires, they will love the traction and you’ll be out in a jiffy. Make sure to pull up onto road to get traction before stopping to pick up the mats!

The girls fell asleep early last night, must have been a combo of the late night Sat. and swimming Sun. night. We got started with school right on time and by 11 (for Grace and Hannah) and 2 (for Bethany with one on-line class, lunch and a break in that time frame along with other school work) we were done for the day. After school we went to a new sledding hill, it’s a bit of a thrill ride with a section going over the sidewalk and a drop on the other side, but the girls had fun.

Here’s Grace going down on the tube, it slid the furthest (if you listen close you can hear her scream when she flies over the sidewalk and down the other side.)

We’re getting more snow to go on top of the last layer, so I foresee more sledding runs, maybe to Ruby Hill….

Ever wanted to squish your kids?

I got bored just standing there, so I took a picture of this icicle in the tree.

Google thought this picture needed more snow.

We thawed out with some drinks at Starbucks, then headed to the library for a graphic novel art class. I thought the artist was going to show the kids how to make a graphic novel, instead he talked about how cool his job was, showed them some books he drew and gave them some handmade books to make their own art. Hannah wasn’t impressed. I came in and helped her make boxes for her story and showed her how to draw the cat Chi. Here is her cat.

The next art class at the library is with a person from Young Rembrandts, so I expect there to be teaching going on at that one.

Dinners this week (can you tell it’s cold? Lots of crockpot meals.)
Beef stew with carrots, snap peas and barley
Flank steak with mushroom stuffing, roasted cauliflower, quinoa
Chinese chicken, leek and cabbage soup
Sausage and potato soup
(Friday we’re hitting the Artwalk and eating Ethiopian food.)

Tomorrow, Bethany and Hannah get some baby teeth pulled, Wednesday a hike (or sledding or both), Thursday is a Mardi Gras co-op, Friday it’s the Artwalk, Saturday is DDD and James and I are going to see Casablanca with live orchestra music.

Denver Voice, MCA, History, deaf cattle dog

This morning H^3 had a presentation at the Denver Voice.

The Voice is a paper sold by homeless vendors, written by homeless people and volunteers and staffed by volunteers and some homeless people.

It is relevant news, news from the street from a homeless perspective and news from around the world. We learned that the paper costs 50 cents to produce and that vendors buy the papers from DV and then sell them throughout the month. The paper is marked with a $2 donation, but some people give more, some give less.

DV has about 60 vendors all over the Denver metro area (and some in Boulder and some in outlying areas of Denver.) The Voice is a way for the homeless to make a living, receive financial classes, help themselves out while selling a top rate product and gain selling experience and dignity. The Voice has been around for about 19 years, but they underwent a restructuring in the early 2000′s and it’s been growing ever since. We heard from one vendor who sells at least 2,000 papers a month. He works 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, this is his job and he’s good at it. When vendors get started they come to an orientation class and receive 5 free papers. When they sell those – keeping back some money to buy more papers, they come back and get more papers to sell. They can earn free papers by doing chores around the building and coming to financial classes. The money they make from selling the papers is theirs to keep. We found out that Brad and Libby from SAME cafe’ are on the BOD of the Voice, which doesn’t surprise me. Non-profits have a way of being intertwined with other non-profits. So, next time you see that paper, buy one. You are supporting that vendor and the homeless community at large.

We ate at SAME after our tour – of course. There was potato soup, Greek salad, fruit salad, ham/dijon pizza and spinach/feta pizza. After that our group split up and we went to the MCA. Their current exhibit is all about patterns, math, and visual skewing.


(Alyson Shotz)


(Shotz)


(Shotz)


(Jason Middlebrook)


(Middlebrook)


(Ara Peterson)


(Zilvinas Kempinas)

Oh, except the downstairs part, that one was about….


(Joel Swanson)

I’m not sure (it is a contemporary art museum after all.) I let the girls play in the bubble garden for a bit, it’s their favorite place in the museum. The teen lab was closed while they put in an exhibit, but Bethany did get to see a dress made out of coke cans and thought it was cool.

Our next stop was the History museum (we were staying downtown all day.) If you have a Jeffco library card you can check out a pass to get in for free! They have an awesome exhibit about living out west.

They put some of the pottery back on display, had a spot where you could watch a video about touring the mountain towns.

There were hands-on things like how much water is in the snow pack, listening to pine beetles and more in the mountain area. They had a nice hands-on diorama about water on the eastern and western slopes.

The dust bowl was covered in another area as you followed people to Baca county and then sat in a house while the dust slammed into it.

You could roll dice to see what happened to you, did the bank take your house? Did you try to stick it out? Did you give up and go east? There was part of a documentary from the government about the dust bowl, which of course I found on Youtube. If you have never seen dust bowl images, check it out.

The exhibit is really well done and would be a good way to find out more about the dust bowl days in Colorado (or about living out west and the trials people have dealt with over the years.) Bethany and I rocked in the chairs while Hannah and Grace gathered wooden eggs and manned the general store.

They could be giving out dollar bills somewhere else in the museum and my kids wouldn’t care, they’d just be gathering wooden eggs and paying for canned goods with plastic money. And this is for the Broncos.

Our next stop was the library for a show with Mr. Eric and Angelyne the deaf cattle dog.

Eric talked about how he trained Angelyne, how she knows over 40 hand signals for everything from ‘come here’ to ‘grab the rope’ to ‘focus’.

She knows her left from her right, which is impressive since my dog doesn’t even know she has a left and right. Here you can see the intense focus that Angelyne gives Eric.

She has treats on the top of each paw and he signed to her to eat the left…then wait….then eat the right treat. She is a very sweet dog and knows more than just hand signals.

She is also trained with a flashlight, that way if she’s out at night, Eric can call to her. Her last trick was jumping through hoops, Grace got to hold one of the hoops, she thought that was cool.

Eric and Angelyne show that D does not stand for disability, it stands for determined, dashing, daring, dreaming and devoted. If you ever get the chance to see them, go, they have a message of compassion, helping and determination to share.

Done!

Knock, knock

Who’s there?
Doctor.
Doctor who?

library
(source)

Exactly.

Today was the Dr. Who party at the library, Grace and Bethany were soooooo looking forward to it that they dressed up in their costumes after breakfast. ‘You know we’re not leaving till 5:30′ I said, yep, they knew. Hannah was moaning that she didn’t get to go (I didn’t set the ages…) So, after lunch they all watched episode after episode of Dr. Who on Netflix. At least when the party is over Hannah will have a pair of angel wings to play with. (Those things are dropping feathers like crazy though, I might banish them to the storage room and say that you can only wear them outside.) So, I give you….

The stone angels.

At the library the girls posed next to their favorite Doctor.

And had fun making crafts, grabbing Tardis keys, making popcorn boxes, finding Dr. Who Valentines and talking about the show.

Thanks library, that was fun!

Tuesday

Oh, I had a good sleep on the couch last night. I can lie down and my arm is just in the right position protected by the cushions, nice. We did school and had lunch, Bethany worked on an outline for her English paper and Grace started on her oceans unit in Science. Our advent reading was from Luke 1:68-71 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us…” Which led to a great discussion on patience (Zechariah waited for his baby to be born and is so confident in God’s plans that he uses the past tense – He has redeemed His people.) We talked about people who weren’t so patient…Abraham…. and people who could not have known Jesus was the Messiah but did know when they saw Him….Simeon. We also talked about how, even knowing the prophecies, it must have seemed strange to them at that time that after all the years God was finally bringing about His promise.

We had an afternoon craft, painting mixing bowls at the library. These bowls will be fired and glazed and then returned to us in a few weeks, yay, more free presents. The colors look dull here and they aren’t quite the color they will be when fired and glazed. My pot looks pretty good for left handed painting.

Grace’s pot is red and orange, I know it just looks pinky-orange, and she wrote Bazinga on the inside.

Hannah’s pot is red and green and I think Bethany’s is too.

It will be neat to see the difference when they are finished.

It’s supposed to snow overnight, so our lecture on Ben Franklin tomorrow afternoon might get canceled, we’ll see. It’s going to be a cold recital day on Sat. with a high of 15 or so and a low of 8.

A new week

And a busy one. Today Bethany started on her poetry unit for writing after finishing her short story. I think it’s more of a short novel at 10 typed pages, hope the teacher is ready to read! Grace made a ‘B’ on her rocks and minerals test and looked over predicate adjectives for grammar. Hannah read her Rod and Staff reader to me, she is getting much more fluent while reading, and finished up the history unit on Rome and Caesar. I took my Ancient Greece test, Grace will take it tomorrow. The class is going well, most of it is over her head, but I’m supplementing with things meant for her grade – at any rate, it’s a good introduction to Greece.

Today was the first day of dance.

Ahhh, gotta love the smell of new ballet shoes (as opposed to old ones!) I am not dancing this session because at some point I am going to have my shoulder worked on. I was worried about rotator cuff surgery, but I am getting a second opinion and the person who just had it done by this other doctor is not in any pain and she was out and about just a few days after surgery, so that is promising. Before dance we went to Solid Grounds and did a devotional and looked over the Jesus Calling entry for today – “I designed you to live in union with Me…it actually makes you more fully yourself. When you try to live independently of Me, you experience emptiness and dissatisfaction… Find fulfillment through living close to Me, yielding to My purposes for you.” Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

The devotion also talked of sometimes not knowing what the path you are on is like or where it is leading, but staying on the path He has for you and finding out things about yourself that you might not have known if you had not traveled that path.

All good things. We also went over part of a Grapevine stick figure study. You use stick people symbols in the devotions to help remember the lesson, everyone can draw a stick figure.

After dinner the girls played while James and I went to the library for the 2nd film in their classic film series, The Third Man. It’s been awhile since we had seen this classic movie. It’s shot on location in Vienna after WWII, yes that rubble is real. The sewer scenes were not real (the scenes with Orson in them) he refused to work in the sewer, so they had to build a sewer set on stage….weenie. Joseph Cotten is the leading man in the movie and though he’s not my favorite actor, he’s good in this movie. Orson Welles was a great pick for Harry Lime, I love the scene when Lime is introduced in the movie, awesome. We saw Wilfrid Hyde-White in a bit part in the movie (I was like where do I know him from….ah! My Fair Lady.) The cinematography of this movie is amazing, it almost seems like Orson Welles shot parts of it as he was known for his strange camera shots, but no, he was just an actor. The camera angles, tilts, and shadows were the work of Robert Krasker. Our host for the evening said that if we saw that name listed on a movie we should stop what we were doing and watch it. I have to admit, the movie wouldn’t have been half as good if the scenes were shot as the viewer sees them. A bit of trivia – Cary Grant was looked at for the Harry Lime role (I could see that) and Jimmy Stewart was looked at for the Holly Martins role (oh, good grief, I’m glad Cotten was under contract at the time, I don’t really like Stewart.)

Next week the film is Rear Window, we probably won’t watch that one (I like Hitchcock, I don’t like Stewart.)

Arsenal hike and steampunk necklaces

Nice day for a hike. We went to the arsenal (because we had a library program close to there) and looked around the nature center.

Then we hiked the locust trail.

A dragonfly.

A mule deer, it was odd to see just one.

A view of the plains.

We turned around and saw downtown in the distance.

Prairie flowers.

We hiked the loop back and caught this mud swallow and baby near the nature center entrance.

At the library each girl got to make a necklace that has 3 magnetic pieces, so it’s like having 3 necklaces. It was called steampunk because of some of the designs you could use.

Here’s one of mine – moustached cat.

Tomorrow, festivals!

Biology at the library

We went to the CU marine biology presentation at the library today. We saw this same thing back in 2008. It’s never bad to review material though, so we went with the assumption that we might hear some things we’ve heard before, but we might still learn something new or have different questions. I remember when Grace was so excited to see whale baleen up close, this was at the beginning of her whale loving journey.

This humpback baleen is the same piece, but Grace has grown!

That piece of whale rib has also stayed the same, but Grace hasn’t.

Hannah thought it was interesting too.

We got to see and touch some cool things: sun sea star (since they are not true fish they are now being referred to as just sea stars and not star fish),

bat sea star,

egg case from a skate,

angry porcupine puffer fish,

octopus,

egg case from a horn shark.

Questions we had: How do sea stars lay eggs? (Well, there is only one way in or out…here is a cool pic of a sea star laying eggs.)

starfish
(source)

Is that horn shark egg case wrapped up in a kelp leaf or is that the actual egg? (Nope, that’s the egg, cool!) Are all things called mermaid purses egg sacs from skates or is that name inclusive of other things that lay eggs in a sac like sharks? (Yes, sharks, skate and rays egg sacs are called mermaid purses.) How many legs can a starfish have? (It’s more than 5…some have 40!) Once again we learned something new.

The girls got their last prize (book or journal) from the library and we are done with library reading prizes (for Denver..)

Tomorrow it’s off to the Improv show.

Park day

Grace finished up her compare and contrast essay, it’s here. We used this program to work through the steps in writing the essay after she had gathered her information. Bethany repainted part of her art and I wonder – how long does it take for oil paint to dry? Hopefully it will be dry by Friday so we can drop it off at the gallery (though she has until Sunday to drop it off.) We gathered our lunch and headed to the park.

We’re at a new park for July, deKovend, it’s big and shady and has a creek (and a really nice playground, but the kids only play on the tire swing.) For 4 hours the kids ran around, they caught crawdads and snakes, they got soaking wet and got dizzy swinging on the tire swing, they chased squirrels and played while the adults enjoyed the cool breeze under the trees. We left there and went to drop off art that had been in the SAME cafe’ art show. From there we went to the library to drop books, pick up prizes and (lucky for us) pick up the stained glass art that had come in. Here is Grace’s piece, I think it turned out great.

Back at home I made spinach salad with grilled avocados and peaches and fried chicken strips, it was good. Then I checked the bee block, 2 new leaf cutter bee nests in the holes.

I still haven’t seen any bees working on the block, I guess I need to check in the morning and mid-afternoon as well as the evening.

Fused glass

Another great project brought to you by….the library.

We got the talk again about fused glass, tack glass, types of glass, how much glue to use, how high to stack the pieces and so on.

Then, we got creative. I think I missed Grace’s piece (which will be a key chain.) Here is mine – a brooch.

Hannah’s will be a necklace.

Bethany’s will also be a necklace.

It will take about 3 weeks to get back (he has a lot of them to do from different library days.) I chose full fuse this time, I didn’t like how the tack style looked on such a small piece last time. Grace also had full fuse and Bethany and Hannah had tack. After getting some books and library prizes we headed over to the Mercado to get some Mexican candies and drinks. Mmmmm….goat milk candy, it’s the closest place I know of to get it.

Terms we learned:

COE – coefficient of expansion is the amount the glass expands or contracts for every degree centigrade. If the expansion and contraction rates for different pieces of glass are not a very close match, internal stresses will cause the glass to fracture. In the engineering world COE is called CTE (coefficient of thermal eventually.)

Full fuse – glass that has been heated to the point where individual pieces are no longer identifiable and the surface is flat (1500 degrees.)

Slumping – the process of shaping glass by heating the glass positioned on top of a mold. Slumping temperature is about 1280-1325 for Bullseye glass.

Tack fuse – Glass heated until it just begins to melt. Pieces of glass stick together, but are easily identifiable as individual pieces. Ground or sandblasted surfaces become glossy, with edges of the glass rounded and safe to touch.

The Legendary Ladies of the West

Saturday was pretty lazy, we cleaned house (ahem, I cleaned house), then we went to Anthony’s for lunch. While we were there, fire trucks zoomed past us and parked right by Union station. We went outside to look and black smoke was billowing out of the construction zone between the Station and the Ice house. Thankfully, the fire department had the fire out within minutes – more fires, ugh. (BTW The Black Forest fire is now 55% contained.)

After lunch we went to the library to see the Legendary Ladies of the West, it was a packed house. We’ve seen them as different women before. This time we saw them as:

Amelia Earhart – We heard about her need for speed as a child when she constructed her own roller coaster at her house. We were with her when she flew her canary plane, became a stunt pilot and flew across the Pacific.

We listened as she told us about her final trip that was to be her greatest achievement and ended in tragedy.

amelia
(Source)

(Recently scientists have uncovered what they think might be her plane.)

Mother Cabrini – an Italian nun who came to America at the beckoning of the Pope.

cabrini
(Source)

She was sent to help out Italian immigrants and she did, she helped the poor, started an orphanage and made 25 trips back and forth from the US to Europe (and countless trips from the US to South America.)

Here in Colorado, Mother Cabrini started a mountain escape for the Denver orphans; a place on Lookout Mt. with fresh air, animals to care for and a hill to climb and reflect on the Sacred Heart of Jesus that she made there (and also, the well of water that sprang forth when she prayed for water at the site.) The Cabrini shrine is a place of quiet and reflection now, with a small chapel, gardens, and steps to the cross at the top of the hill.

Molly Brown – Everyone knows her: born the daughter of a ditch digger in Missouri, she once met Mark Twain there before she came West, ended up in Leadville working as a waitress, courted by and then married to John Brown who was 13 years older than she,

molly
(Source)

Denver socialite with a knack for impressing the papers and warding off her neighbors,

survivor of the Titanic, philanthropist and generous at the end – the Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Mother Jones – An activist for the common worker.

mother jones
(Source)

A person opposed to women’s suffrage, but an upholder of the unions and what they stood for – basic needs for the common men, women and children who were working in deplorable conditions.

mother jones
(Source)

The working class had her back, which was good because she pissed off a lot of people. When some miners asked her to come to Colorado, she did.

I have to wonder, if she had never come, would the Ludlow massacre have happened? Her involvement in the strike caused the militia to come out and tensions ran high, then the massacre happened. Eventually Federal troops came to restore order, but still, I wonder what would have happened if she had not riled up the workers (not that I don’t think the workers had a point, just that it could have been handled better.)

Mary Elitch – She and her husband created a magnificent garden and soon invited the people of Denver to come and bask in the beautiful surroundings (it was Denver’s first botanic gardens.)

mary Elitch
(Source)

They built a carousel (which now resides in Burlington) and a theater (which was the first theater in America to show a moving picture.)

The gardens were also the site of the first zoo West of Chicago. The theater showcased some great talent – Douglas Fairbanks (and Jr.), Cecil B. Demille, Lana Turner, Raymond Burr, William Shatner, Harold Lloyd, Patty Duke, John Astin….the list is huge. Mary said that everyone who came signed the theater door – they are in the process of restoring the theater, I hope the saved the door! Elitch gardens is now an amusement park, but just outside the gates is a garden. It doesn’t rival the original, but it’s a nod to the Elitch’s all the same.

Rosamond Underwood – Back in 1916, two highly educated society girls from the East stepped off the train in Colorado and traveled to Elkhead, a small town that was advertising for teachers.

rosamon
(Source)

Never mind that Rosamond and her friend Dorothy had never taught and lacked qualifications, they had the adventurous spirit and tenacity to come out here and teach the local children. They rode their horses through 6 feet of snow to teach at the one room schoolhouse, their pupils were poor children dressed in rags with shoes held on by threads.

Their families back in NY often sent boxes full of clothes, blankets, books and food for the locals, which I’m sure was a great help. If you want to know more about Rosamond and Dorothy, check out the book written by Dorothy’s granddaughter – Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, by Dorothy Wickenden.

Helen Hunt Jackson – Peer of Thoreau, friend of Emily Dickinson, author and Native American advocate, Hunt was a writer with a cause.

helen
(Source)

When she realized that people were more likely to get behind a cause because they cared about the subject (and that people liked to read novels) she created the book Ramona that dealt with an Indian heroine, a love story, a tragedy and it became vastly popular.

She met her husband in the Springs (she was here for the air to clear her lungs) and there is a waterfall named after her (and you can see her house at the Pioneer museum in the Springs.) After her death, the Dawes act that allocated tribal lands to Indians was drawn up, her writings and activism were attributed to that happening.

After the show we walked through the flower garden to the car.

Look – I can use macro on my camera now!

Magic show, river clean-up, pool!

This afternoon we went to the library to see Ann Lincoln, hard to believe, but we’ve seen her for 8 summers now!

She juggled clubs and bowling balls, did a bit of magic and brought out her bunny Timothy and dog Ronald. Ronald is so cute and so well trained, I wish Maisy was that good. Andrew got to go up and help out with egg in the bag trick, I should have turned my flash on, oh well.

After the show (and checking out some library books about magic and Pomeranians) we went to Grace’s patch of river to clean up.

It needed it, look at this mess.

We picked up an entire trash bag full off junk and then claimed the right to tube in the river.

We moved some sticks out of the way too, they were clogging up the river’s path. There are some bright plants growing on some of the rocks, they look neon green and feel like grass, I’m sure it’s some kind of algae, but it’s pretty.

Bethany said she would not be swimming, which of course meant that she ended up swimming with her clothes on.

Never say, ‘I’m just going to wade’, it always ends up with you in full clothing drenched.

From there we went to the pool and swam around for a bit. Then we came home and I made Chinese chicken, I don’t like the thigh meat from Walmart that I got this time, yuck. Tomorrow is a visit to SAME cafe’, tubing the chutes and celebrating Grace’s birthday at White fence farm.

Buffalo Bill

I have to say that the Castle Rock historical society has much better meetings than the Highlands Ranch society. We went to the CR library last night to hear “Gunny” Jeff Norman spin us the tale of the life of William F. Cody, AKA Buffalo Bill. In true Bill fashion, not all the tales were true (Bill did not invent the doughnut by pressing bread through his saddle-horn, but that’s a good story.)

bill
(source.)

Everyone knows that Bill had a Wild west show, that he was named Buffalo Bill after his time as an RR agent when he supplied the buffalo meat for the rail workers, that he rode for the pony express and that he was an Army scout (at least I assume you know that.) Did you know that his father was stabbed after spouting anti-slavery statements in Kansas? His father was never the same and when Bill was 11 he was the man of the house. He started work as a wagon boy, then as a scout, at age 15 he came to Cripple creek looking for gold but was turned onto the adventure of the life of a Pony express rider.

He was too young, 15, to be in the Army but worked as a scout until his mother died; then at age 18 he joined the Army in the cavalry unit until 1865 (he later worked as a scout for the Army again.) He got married, but just couldn’t settle down. He tried to make a town called Rome in Kansas with a partner. Another guy came along and asked to be a third partner, he said he had RR connections, but Bill and friend declined his offer. Too bad, Hays is still a city in Kansas, whereas Rome is not (however, he had better luck with his town in WY named Cody.) It was about this time that Buffalo Bill was becoming popular in dime novels and in a play New York.

Bill was asked to play himself, but he had stage fright, he eventually got over it by trashing the script and making it up as he went along. About this time he got the idea for a Wild west show with horses, cowboys, trick riders, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, a stagecoach robbery and more. It was a hit, he traveled all over the US and Europe. Bill was horrible with money though, in one year he made 11 million dollars (in our money), but he was a sucker for scammers and died with less than $100,000 to his name.

And that’s where Denver comes in. He died in his sister’s house in Denver and then the fighting started. The town of Cody, WY that he founded demanded the body, as did a town in Nebraska where he spent a lot of time, not to mention his home birth state and Kansas. His wife Louisa was said to have been bribed by the Denver newsman that scammed Bill of his Wild west show. Bill had to sit in Denver until the ground thawed enough (and a dirt road was built) to the top of Lookout Mt. in Golden. His funeral was attended by over 25,000 people who lined the roads up to Golden.

His body was sought after by other towns and after a few attempts, they blasted the grave deep in the rock and covered it with cement.

And that, is the mostly true, story of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

I found this site that has some interesting pieces of Bill history, including a map of Rome, KS. If you’re in Denver you can go up to Bill’s grave and visit his museum on top of Lookout Mt. (The museum usually celebrates his birthday in Feb. with cake and a buffalo chip tossing contest, this year was snowed out and they just had the celebration last weekend.) Don’t bet on beating me at the buffalo chip tossing contest though….

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