Q in her element:
The Q loves Denver's REI flagship store.
REI is an outdoor sports outfitter which has pretty much anything an outdoor enthusiast could possibly yearn for. From camping to climbing gear, bikes to running strollers, kayaks to hiking maps, REI has it all. (Q calls it "Ooh-ahh")
It's also a sort of meeting place for all those like-minded people from the Western Slope to the Front Range, and I always seem to run into an old friend from some previous era of my life when we stop in there.
Located in a repurposed 1901 tramway building, the whole space is a bit of an architectural masterpiece.
It's also conveniently located on the confluence of the Platte River and Denver's Cherry Creek, right between LoDo and Old North Denver (our 'hood).
And that's not event to mention the amazing and elaborate two-story indoor climbing wall, along with the indoor playground that has been Q's fallback entertainment during the long, chilly winter months.
After sliding and climbing to her heart's content, she always signs "bike" and points to the cyclist's end of the store. "Bike" is a word that she could potentially pronounce, but she has never switched over from the sign language on this particular word. It is, after all, quite eloquent.
In the bike section, she loves to fondle the beautiful beach cruisers, and then pick out a tough-looking helmet to wear, and hop on one of the toddler bikes for a test drive. On this occasion, as she sidled over to this BMX-inspired model, a salesperson rushed over to tell me in hushed tones that they did have a "pink one" for the girls. I quickly informed the salesperson that Q had chosen the dangerous-looking one for a reason, and that she was not likely to be tempted by the "girlie" version. (and yes, that is a faux-tattoo on her arm)
On this day, thanks to the unseasonably warm weather (100-year record), I was able to introduce Q to a new and delightful discovery, the outdoor free-climbing rock.
Q enjoying a refreshing snack and watching the older kids free climbing.
As anticipated, it was an instant draw for the Q, who wandered about trying to figure out how to follow the big kids up the rock.
So I showed her a first climbing trick: how to wedge her fingers into a convenient vertical crack. This may come in handy when we finally have the time to take Q on one of our desert walkabouts to place like Moab and Joshua Tree.
True to form, Q got the concept straight out of the gate, and ran with it. (Look at the fingers of her left hand in that last shot, automatically finding the horizontal crack as well. I think she's a natural! Can't WAIT until she ages into rock climbing classes!)
Here she is really getting the hang of it! Anyone know where I can find toddler-sized rock-climbing shoes?
BIG success of an afternoon.

btw these American Apparel suspenders have been our saving grace this year. Tall and lean, well above her agegroup in clothing size, Q is unable to keep any pants on her hips...even lean, mean jeans like these. Thank goodness for the return of "braces"!
Corner View: Spring!

For more corner views from around the world, visit Jane at Spain Daily.


I just love this picture.

As you all know, I love handmade finds - unique and one-of-a-kind.
This week, I have two finds, the first of which I came across thanks to a friend in North Carolina.
Circle Factory features the work of artist George Peterson, who works in hand-hewn wood and repurposed objects like these amazing "retired" skateboards from his Lingo series.
Can you imagine a wall of these? So beautiful and tribal. I was an instant fan, and his wood sculptures and bowls are just stunning as well. Well worth a visit.
My second discovery is thanks to a friend from the adoption world, India, whom I noticed wearing one of these "bone" necklaces in one of her facebook photos. I had to know where it came from.

The Etsy shop LORiOLA (coincidentally also out of NC) makes these beautiful encrusted "bone" glasswork necklaces.


Though we escaped another big snowstorm, yesterday and today have been chilly here on the front range. But the weather forecast calls for steadily rising temperatures over the next few days, a push toward spring which I fully expect, given the timing, will set off the first of the April bloom. In that spirit, and in anticipation of the season to come, I thought I'd post this glorious set of photos which I somehow failed to post when we took them last summer, during the height of our rose hedge bloom.
No photoshop was used here....this bush is such a neon fuscia in bloom that it very nearly blows out my camera settings.
It also blooms in such profusion that it's difficult to stay on top of the deadheading.
So Q and I spent a day or two gathering blooms into bowls, which would perfume our livingroom for days to come.
Oh, yeah! Bring it on.

Here's to the change of seasons!


In continuation of my recent trip down memory lane...
...this is my beloved (late) grandfather, known to friends as Jack. His real name was Dutch, long, and difficult to pronounce on American tongues. So Jack became his moniker, aka "The Captain". My grandfather was a unique, elegant and honorable man. And I should add that this is not how he normally dressed. This was a facetious photo. Jack was one of the most diligent, serious and thoughtful men I've ever known. His personal style was much more pared-down and sober than this. Born in Holland, educated in England and Italy, he was an engineer and inventor who created one of the very first cooling systems for (then wall-sized) computers. He was a lifetime student of Buddhism, long before Buddhism became popular in the Western world. A fan of beautiful cars, ham radios, and winemaking . A devoted philanthropist, dedicated family man, generous and solicitous employer, and pillar of every community he lived in. My grandfather took nothing lightly, and thought deeply about every issue he encountered. I remember him as gentle, handsome, stylish, soft-spoken, and constantly at work. He remains a legend to all those who remember him.

Yoli made me do it.

Yup, her, from Musings.

She is a good friend, I'll give you that.

BUT, she is the worst influence on me. That little voice of temptation, the devil on my shoulder...
Did any of you see Avenue Q, the Broadway musical that spoofs Sesame Street for adults? Do you remember the "bad advice bears" that sit on the puppets' shoulders and shout things like "Let's play drinking games!" In tiny, high-pitched voices?

Yup, Yoli is my bad advice bear. And the terrible part is that half the time I actually listen.

ps - this leather aviator helmet for the small set is on clearance right now at tAmoMolt. Now I'm your bad advice bear ;) So there.
On a recent balmy day in our usual spring pattern of sun/snow/sun/snow, we decided to set out to White Fence Farm for an early spring farm dinner.

Q wearing her shades on her head "like a mommy".
Sometimes you have to see the Q in motion sequence. A great part of her beauty is in her motion, and since I have not been able to bring myself to figure out editing and uploading video, this will have to do!

What would earliest spring be...
...without a baby lamb. This one was SO brand new that it had to lie down and take a nap every two minutes like clockwork.
Mommy loves to feed the sheep. It's mommy's favorite thing. Q thinks they're tickle-y.

A lovely day on the farm. Now I'm looking forward to picking season so we can visit the berry and produce farms on the outskirts of town!