Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - July 21, 2007

Hi everyone,

Hope you're all managing to stay cool - it is broiling out here in Colorado! Thanks to Mary, we had an early and relatively cool walk on Saturday morning - we started at Scott Carpenter Park and then took the bike path, cut through Research Park (remember those good old training days!) over Foothills Parkway and back up the bike path back to the park and then over to Starbucks at 30th and Arapahoe.

Book Report:

Barb, Jan and Susan attended a Democratic Women of Boulder event the other night where we heard Michael Isakoff of Newsweek talk about his book Hubris, co-authored by David Corn. He was a dynamic speaker and presented pretty compelling evidence for how the current administration marketed and sold the war in Iraq. We are all looking forward to reading the book.

"Indispensable ... There have been many books about the Iraq War, and there will be many others before we are through. This one, however, pulls together with unusually shocking clarity the multiple failures of process and statecraft."

"The most comprehensive account of the White House's political machinations ... fascinating reading."

"A bold and provocative book."

Jack is enjoying reading Pete Hamill's new book, North River: A Novel. Pete Hamill is a favorite of ours - most often writes about New York City, both fiction and non-fiction. We loved Snow in August, Forever and Downtown. Very much a "real" New Yorker, he expresses so well the unique energy and life of the inhabitants of that city.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The North River is what real New Yorkers call the Hudson. Two blocks from its shore, Dr. James Finbar Delaney lives on Horatio Street in Greenwich Village. He is a GP, servicing the indigent poor. A wounded veteran of World War I, he is despondent that his wife, Molly, has deserted him and that his only child, Grace, has left her son, two-year-old Carlito, in his care. In the dead of winter in the Depression year of 1934, Dr. Delaney knows the cause of death was always life. Delaney is numb from the war and the abandonment of his family. When he saves the life of gangster friend Eddie Corso, Italian hood Frankie Botts is not happy. Delaney can feel the threat to him and his grandson in his bones. To further complicate matters, the FBI shows up looking for Grace. If there's any consolation for Delaney in the chaos that has become his life, it's Carlito and Rose, his Sicilian illegal alien housekeeper, who has become little Carlito's surrogate mother—and Delaney's lover. Soon the North River comes to symbolize Delaney's tormented life, as enemies and loved ones float in it, and Grace, on a liner, returns to New York to further complicate Delaney's new, delicate household. Hamill (Forever; A Drinking Life) has crafted a beautiful novel, rich in New York City detail and ambience, that showcases the power of human goodness and how love, in its many forms, can prevail in an unfair world

Website of the Week - -
Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning, evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression and violence among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program reaches children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 across Canada, in English and French, in rural, urban, remote and Aboriginal communities both on and off reserve and is being piloted internationally in Australia and New Zealand.

At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom every three weeks over the school year. A trained ROE Instructor coaches students to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings. In this experiential learning, the baby is the “Teacher” and a lever, which the instructor uses to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. This “emotional literacy” taught in the program lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms, where children are the “Changers”. They are more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others (empathy) and are therefore less likely to physically, psychologically and emotionally hurt each other through bullying and other cruelties. In the ROE program children learn how to challenge cruelty and injustice. Messages of social inclusion and activities that are consensus building contribute to a culture of caring that changes the tone of the classroom. The ROE Instructor also visits before and after each family visit to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan for each visit. Research results from national and international evaluations of ROE indicate significant reductions in aggression and increases in pro-social behaviour.

Podcast of the Week - Jumping Monkeys - - a podcast dedicated to child-raising and technology - interesting duo of Megan Morrone and Leo Laporte best known from Tech TV.

Word of the Week - Labyrinth
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the mazelike structure from Greek mythology. For other uses, see Labyrinth (disambiguation).
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth (Gk. λαβύρινθος labyrinthos) was an elaborate structure constructed for King Minos of Crete and designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus to hold the Minotaur, a creature that was half man and half bull and which was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. Daedalus had made the Labyrinth so cunningly that he himself could barely escape it after he built it.[1] Theseus was aided by Ariadne, who provided him with a fateful thread, literally the "clew," or "clue," to wind his way back again.
The term labyrinth is often used interchangeably with maze, but modern scholars of the subject use a stricter definition. For them, a maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage with choices of path and direction; while a single-path ("unicursal") labyrinth has only a single Eulerian path to the center. A labyrinth has an unambiguous through-route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.

This unicursal design was wide-spread in artistic depictions of the Minotaur's Labyrinth even though both logic and literary descriptions of it make it clear that the Minotaur was trapped in a multicursal maze.[2]

A labyrinth can be represented both symbolically and/or physically. Symbolically it is represented in art or designs on pottery, as body art, etched on walls of caves, etc. Physical representations are common throughout the world, and are generally constructed on the ground so they may be walked along from entry point to center and back again. They have historically been used in both group ritual and for private meditation.

Cooking and Food Report:

This week we're featuring brunch recipes:

Terri's Baked Hash Browns

Baked Hash Browns
2 lbs frozen hash browns (use the cubed potato kind.)
1/2 C melted margarine
1 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped onion
1 pt sour cream (I use light)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C grated cheese
2 C crushed corn flakes

Mix together 1/4 C margarine, salt, (pepper), onion, sour cream, soup and cheese. Blend well. Grease 9x13 pan and put hash browns in the bottom. Pour sour cream mixture over the potatoes. Mix crushed corm flakes with remaining 1/4 C margarine and put on top. Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes.

Barb's Chili's Relleno Casserole from her friend Sue Alt:

7 oz. canned whole green chilies - split, rinse, de-seed, pat dry (next time I'd double the chilies)
1/2 # each grated Jack and sharp cheddar (I bought the bag of already mixed)
2/3 # spicy sausage - fried & crumbled (I used 1/2 spicy and 1/2 mild and closer to 1 #, doubled)
3 eggs
2 1/4 C milk
1 C Bisquick
Seasoned salt (I didn't add salt - indgrediants were salty enough)

Preheat oven to 325.

Put chilies in bottom of 8 x 11 baking dish.
Top with cheese, then sausage on top. (I might try 2 layers of chilies, cheese, chilies, cheese)
Beat eggs. Blend in milk and Bisquick and pour over all.

Bake 50-55 minutes. Can be done the night before and even frozen before cooking - or after.

Recipe says it serves 6-8. I doubled it and we only ate about 1/3rd of it. Of course, we had so much that everyone was taking small amounts of each dish.

Susan's Fourteener's Granola from the River Run Inn in Salida, Colorado:

I usually serve with this with yogurt, berries and sometimes my favorite chocolate chips.

That's all for now - have a great week ahead. I may actually do some cooking this week and try out some new recipes that I can share with you.


Saturday Morning Walkers - July 14, 2007

Hi everyone!

Wow - it has been an event and food-filled week! Not sure I can get it all into one e-mail but here goes.....

The food week started for me last Monday evening with Book Group. Rae was here and she and I put together a pretty terrific meal - what fun for us to cook together - we're a great team! Check out some of the recipes in the Food and Cooking Report below.

We were a small group yesterday morning but had a lovely walk planned by Barb. Barb, Laila, Christie and I met at 29th Street and then headed out to the Cottonwood Trailhead on Independence (just off the Diagonal). It was a nice shady walk along the creek and then we headed back for coffee and egg souffles at Panera.

Sunday morning brought 9 of us wonderful walkers together to celebrate Christie's graduation from the RN to BS program at Regis University. We celebrated her huge success with a brunch hosted by Barb and "catered" by all of us. Needless to say, we had some amazing food - I've put out a call for some of the recipes which I'll probably share next week.

Sunday evening, George, Melanie and I hosted a "thank you" party for the many volunteers who helped build the Grillo Center Labyrinth. We had a terrific turnout - it was so gratifying to celebrate with so many of the people who helped to make this a reality. We shared great food, did an amazing group walk and took lots of pictures. I'll share them as soon as we get them downloaded.

Book Report:

Barb and Susan are both reading books by writers that will be at the Literary Sojourn in October.

Barb is reading one of Frank Delaney's non-fiction books, Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. She says it is a real page-turner - sounds like a very exciting and compelling story.

From Publishers Weekly
Crippled by two monstrous waves during a 1951 North Atlantic hurricane, the freighter Flying Enterprise was left wallowing on its side and looking as if it would sink at any minute. The subsequent rescue, in mountainous seas, of 10 passengers and 40 crew by lifeboats from responding ships was indeed harrowing—and it's over by page 92 of this overblown maritime-distress yarn. The rest of the book is about the Enterprise's captain, Kurt Carlsen, who insisted on staying aboard to await a tugboat to tow the floundering ship to harbor. Carlsen certainly went beyond the call of duty, but heroism is measured by the stakes involved, which in this case were neither lives nor justice but merely the ship owner's investment. Delaney embellishes the tale with glances at Carlsen's family's anxiety, soggy reminiscences of his own family following the story on the radio and fulsome tributes to the Danish skipper's flinty Nordic resolve (which are rather undercut by the knowledge that Carlsen could have transferred at any time to one of the ships babysitting the hulk). Carlsen's story generated a lot of breathless press hoopla at the time, and it still has the feel of a trumped-up media sensation. Photos not seen by PW.

Susan is reading a first novel by Amanda Eyre Ward, Sleep Toward Heaven. I was immediately drawn in to the stories and the characters.

From Publishers Weekly
How do we forgive the unforgivable? First-time novelist Ward explores this question with a delicate blend of compassion, humor and realism. Three women whose lives converge during a stifling Texas summer have followed completely different paths in their 29 years. The horrendous childhood of death row inmate Karen Lowens led her to prostitution, drug abuse and finally murder. She now longs to find peace before her scheduled execution in the Gatestown, Tex., prison. She resists friendship, as "any connection, any tiny strand, will bind her to this world" from which she so wants to be freed. Franny Wren, Karen's prison doctor, is just as afraid to befriend Karen, knowing that she can't save her. She is fragile, having recently run out on her fiance and her life in New York City after the death of one of her cancer patients, a young girl, left her guilt-ridden and emotionally drained. Franny has returned to her childhood home in Gatestown, where she was raised by an uncle after her parents were killed by a drunk driver. Meanwhile, in Austin, Celia Mills, the only first-person narrator of the three, is the widow of Karen's final victim. She has been sleepwalking through life since the murder, and her stabs at joining the living are touching and funny ("Although my mother disagrees, I have moved forward with my life. For example, I've bought a new bikini"). Ward's celebration of human resilience never becomes preachy, sentimental or politically heavy-handed. Her spare but psychologically rich portraits are utterly convincing.

Website of the Week: recommended by Jackie and Cass - - this is an online Cliffnotes (remember those?) - this could be a valuable resource when you want to check out the next book to read.

Podcast of the Week - heard about this on This American Life - - this is a local show broadcast on New York City's Public Radio station - very similar to This American Life.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - trompe-l'oeil -
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trompe-l'œil is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects really exist, instead of being mere, two-dimensional paintings. The name is derived from French for "trick the eye", from tromper - to deceive and l'œil - the eye; IPA pronunciation [tʁɔ̃plœj].

Cooking and Food Report:

Susan's Book Group menu from Fine Cooking Magazine - recipes for dishes from Northeast Spain

Chicken Thighs Baked with Lemon, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Catalan Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley

Green Salad with Olives, Manchego and Romesco Sauce

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Dessert was that amazing Chocolate Bread Pudding from Gail Gand that Libby introduced us to - couldn't be easier and it sure was easy to eat! Libby actually did a variation of it with friends she was visiting with last week - they used chocolate filled croissants and instead of melting the chocolate with the cream and half and half (yes, both!), they mixed in chocolate chunks.,,FOOD_9936_27065,00.html?rsrc=search

My appetizer was a bit of "cheat" - I made crostinis using baguette bread (sliced by the grocery store - a real time-saver) - just place them on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes. I made them ahead and stored them in plastic bags - just before serving I topped them with Blue Moose Olive Tapenade and Red Pepper Pesto - thanks to Costco!

Random Tip of the Week - from Christie for any of you mom's or grandmom's who do grocery shopping with young children. When Christie's two daughters, Molly and Heather, were little, Christie used to give each of them coupons for things they needed to buy and it was their "mission" to search for those items which were pictured on the coupons. It gave them a job to do in the store and turned those boring and frustrating trips to the grocery store into a bit more of an adventure.

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - July 7, 2007

Hi everyone!

Lots to tell you about! I'm so excited that Rae has been here visiting this weekend and will be staying for book group at my house tomorrow night. We've been doing lots of walking, talking and cooking!

Saturday morning we had a quick cup of coffee with Barb, Mary and Jan before they headed out to the Renaissance Festival. We then headed off for a walk on the labyrinth and then a beautiful walk along Boulder Creek before it got too hot. In the afternoon, we "cruised" along the east end of Pearl Street, had some Glacier Ice Cream (so good!) - check out their website - apparently they've branched out from our very own local place to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Also, wanted to tell you about a great new shop we discovered at 1625 Pearl Street - Momentum . they just opened up last week and sell only fair trade products and has a strong committment to sustainable business practices. It is a very attractive store with some wonderful handmade products. Check it out and support another of our locally-owned businesses!

We did talk about some books at coffee yesterday morning:

Barb strongly recommends a non-fiction book by Luis Alberto Urrea called The Devil's Highway. It is an important and timely book about the history of Mexican immigration.

From Publishers Weekly
In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Awardâ€"winning writer and poet Urrea (Across the Wire; Six Kinds of Sky; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte. Their enemies were many: the U.S. Border Patrol ("La Migra"); gung-ho gringo vigilantes bent on taking the law into their own hands; the Mexican Federales; rattlesnakes; severe hypothermia and the remorseless sun, a "110 degree nightmare" that dried their bodies and pounded their brains. In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety, and how 14 othersâ€"whom the media labeled the Yuma 14â€"did not. But while many point to the group's smugglers (known as coyotes) as the prime villains of the tragedy, Urrea unloads on, in the words of one Mexican consul, "the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border." Mexican and U.S. border policy is backward, Urrea finds, and it does little to stem the flow of immigrants. Since the policy results in Mexicans making the crossing in increasingly forbidding areas, it contributes to the conditions that kill those who attempt it. Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted mélange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy. It may not directly influence the forces behind the U.S.'s southern border travesties, but it does give names and identities to the faceless and maligned "wetbacks" and "pollos," and highlights the brutality and unsustainable nature of the many walls separating the two countries.

Jan read and recommends Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. This is a first novel and it does sound intriguing.
Canadian writer Mary Lawson's debut novel is a beautifully crafted and shimmering tale of love, death, and redemption. The story, narrated by 26-year-old Kate Morrison, is set in the eponymous Crow Lake, an isolated rural community where time has stood still. The reader dives in and out of a year's worth of Kate's childhood memories--when she was 7 and her parents were killed in an automobile accident that left Kate, her younger sister Bo, and two older brothers, Matt and Luke, orphaned. When Kate, the successful zoologist and professor who is accustomed to dissecting everything through a microscope, receives an invitation to Matt's son's 18th birthday party, she must suddenly analyze her own relationship and come to terms with her past before she forsakes a future with the man she loves. Kate is still in turmoil over the events of that fateful summer and winter 20 years ago when the tragedy of another local family, the Pyes, spilled over into their lives with earth-shattering consequences. But does the tragedy really lie in the past or the present? Lawson's narrative flows effortlessly in ever-increasing circles, swirling impressions in the reader's mind until form takes shape and the reader is left to reflect on the whole. Crow Lake is a wonderful achievement that will ripple in and out of the reader's consciousness long after the last page is turned.

Jan is currently listening to and enjoying Swimming to Catalina, a suspense/mystery by Stuart Woods

From Publishers Weekly
Formerly a cop and now a lawyer, Stone Barrington is plummeting to the bottom of the ocean with an anchor chained to his waist at the start of Woods's 17th novel (after Dead in the Water, 1997), a smoothly presented if slight thriller that ambles pleasurably through a kidnapping plot involving Barrington's ex-lover (improbably named Arrington). Her husband, actor Vance Calder, flies Barrington out to Hollywood to help find her. In L.A., Barrington goes from flavor-of-the-minute to persona non grata in less time than it takes a flop to disappear from a multiplex. Naturally he's suspicious, so he starts investigating on his own and finds links aplenty among Calder, a mobster named Onofrio Ippolito (head of the Safe Harbor Bank) and labor fixer David Sturmach. The plot moves quickly and is full of dialogue and genial if unsurprising gibes at self-centered stars. Unsurprising is the key word here. Neither the mystery nor the romantic subplot contributes much in the way of suspense to this pleasant, inoffensive airplane read

Rae read and recommends two books:

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky - this two-part novel was written in WWII France and has only recently been found and published.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Celebrated in pre-WWII France for her bestselling fiction, the Jewish Russian-born Némirovsky was shipped to Auschwitz in the summer of 1942, months after this long-lost masterwork was composed. Némirovsky, a convert to Catholicism, began a planned five-novel cycle as Nazi forces overran northern France in 1940. This gripping "suite," collecting the first two unpolished but wondrously literary sections of a work cut short, have surfaced more than six decades after her death. The first, "Storm in June," chronicles the connecting lives of a disparate clutch of Parisians, among them a snobbish author, a venal banker, a noble priest shepherding churlish orphans, a foppish aesthete and a loving lower-class couple, all fleeing city comforts for the chaotic countryside, mere hours ahead of the advancing Germans. The second, "Dolce," set in 1941 in a farming village under German occupation, tells how peasant farmers, their pretty daughters and petit bourgeois collaborationists coexisted with their Nazi rulers. In a workbook entry penned just weeks before her arrest, Némirovsky noted that her goal was to describe "daily life, the emotional life and especially the comedy it provides." This heroic work does just that, by focusing—with compassion and clarity—on individual human dramas

The Mighty Heart by Marianne Pearl - Daniel Pearl's wife's account of her husband's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan.

From Publishers Weekly
When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, his very pregnant wife, Mariane, was left to try to manage the search effort. In this memoir of the month between Pearl's kidnapping and news of his death, she is unflinching, revealing every emotional detail with such honesty that to call the book heart-wrenching is to minimize its power. A journalist herself, Mariane is adept at detail and pacing, letting the events unfold as they happened, complete with their frustrating dead-ends and the tangle of Karachi's bureaucracy. She weaves in memories and thoughts about Danny, which give the book a keen poignancy. She describes how they first met at a party of her mother's, where he looked like "an elegant extra-terrestrial casting a delighted but somewhat perplexed glance at the earthly specimens." Later, after they were married and Mariane got pregnant, he would lean close to her growing belly and talk to the baby in a made-up language he was sure the baby would learn post-birth. After the kidnapping, as she searched his computer for clues, Mariane stumbled upon quirky lists he made, like "Things I Love About Mariane." Such insight into Pearl's personality make the tragedy of his death even sharper. As Mariane deals with his murder and faces the birth of their son alone, she acts with the same sincerity and grace that brought her through the ordeal of the kidnapping. It's not difficult to see why, on the list of things he loved about her, Pearl included: "Has incredible ability to see herself and others with clear perspective."

Website of the Week - - this is the website of the magazine More - "celebrating women of over 40" (that's most of us!). I've recently read some interesting articles on this site - one was by Suzanne Braun Levine and is called "Rewriting the Terms of Endearment in a Long-Term Marriage" and the other was "Love and Money: Breadwinner Wives" by Sandy Hingston. You can find these articles and lots more on the website.

Podcast of the Week - - this is the podcast from More Magazine that is hosted by Katherine Lanpher - interesting topics and good interviews.

Vocabulary Word of the Week
- another one from Rae is "querulous":

querulous \KWER-uh-luhs; -yuh\, adjective:
1. Apt to find fault; habitually complaining.
2. Expressing complaint; fretful; whining.

Querulous Oscar rattles on, never more or less than himself, but never much more than the content of his grumpy rattling.
-- Sven Birkerts, "A Frolic of His Own", New Republic, February 7, 1994

Mam is a tragic figure when transported to New York by her successful sons -- querulous, unable to get a decent cup of tea.
-- Maureen Howard, "McCourt's New World", New York Times, September 19, 1999

Men who feel strong in the justice of their cause, or confident in their powers, do not waste breath in childish boasts of their own superiority and querulous depreciation of their antagonists.
-- James Russell Lowell, "The Pickens-and-Stealin's Rebellion", The Atlantic, June 1861

Querulous comes from Latin querulus, from queri, "to complain."

Cooking and Food Report:

Although I have reported on this restaurant before, it does deserve another mention and that is Radda, a trattoria located next to the Ideal Market on Alpine Avenue. It has become a favorite of mine and Jack's and the food is consistently outstanding. Even though it can get a bit crowded and the noise level gets a little high, it is still worth a visit. We went there on Friday evening after Rae arrived and had 3 excellent meals. Jack had pasta with a wild boar ragu. Rae had gnocchi bolognese and I had seared tuna with grilled asparagus.

While we were waiting for our table at Radda, Judy and Joe Kurtz were leaving after their dinner there. Joe told us about his favorite restaurant located in Lyons - The Gateway Cafe - - it appears that they're only open dinner. The menu looks fantastic - we'll definitely give it a try! Thanks, Joe!

Rae, Jack and I had a great breakfast at The Walnut Cafe yesterday - another favorite breakfast spot of ours, it is located on Walnut in the shopping center at the northeast corner of 30th and Walnut. They have a great breakfast and lunch menu with lots of "healthy" alternatives but the best thing about the Walnut Cafe are their pies. I have often gotten them for holiday dinners. The owner and pie baker is Dana Derichsweiler. If you happen to be in South Boulder (SOBO!), check out the South Side Walnut Cafe in the Table Mesa Shopping Center - great space!

I did do some cooking this weekend - I made a lovely Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup for our lunch yesterday. Once again, a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis,1977,FOOD_9936_35961,00.html - it was velvety and smooth, not too thick and great with grilled bread on the side. We actually discovered a new bread yesterday at Udi's stand - at the Farmer's Market. It looked like Ciabatta but was called Filone - They make this with a combination of white flour, whole wheat flour and spelt. Apparently the spelt helps form a great crust and we were assured that the filone lasts longer than ciabatta.

Dinner last night was Classic Spaghetti Carbonara from Emeril Lagasse. Really simple to make and I like that it doesn't use cream (practically a diet meal - not!) We served it with a simple salad of sliced tomatoes, avocado and chopped scallions.,1977,FOOD_9936_10210,00.html

Breakfast this morning, after our walk and "smudging" on the labyrinth, was Giada's Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes - so light and delicious!,1977,FOOD_9936_31908,00.html

We had a great afternoon - we took a drive up to Allenspark to see Linn and Susan's fabulous new kitchen, then headed over to Peaceful Valley Ranch say hi to Linn who is working there now. Pretty cool place! On Linn's recommendation we headed over to Mary's Lake Lodge in Estes Park for lunch. We were pretty impressed. It is a lovely place with a great restaurant. The menu is extensive - Jack had a "well-stocked" seafood bisque and a wonderful reuben sandwich with homemade potato chips; Rae had a creamy roasted red pepper soup that was so well seasoned. I had a huge caesar salad and then Rae and I shared chicken pot pie with a puff pastry crust - mmmmmm-good. Real comfort food. Thanks, Linn for the suggestion! home in Boulder, we had our final treat - hot fudge sundaes at The Cheesecake Factory on Pearl Street - pretty decadent but we were able to "clean our plates".

Well, no dinner for us tonight - I'm so happy that Rae is here until Tuesday morning. She and I will be preparing for book group at my house tomorrow evening. I have a pretty wonderful menu planned. The Northeast Spain menu is straight from Fine Cooking Magazine - I'll have a detailed report on the results next week. I can tell you now that our dessert has already been tested by Libby - it is Chocolate Bread Pudding from Gale Gand of the Food Network,1977,FOOD_9936_27065,00.html

Have a great week everyone!



Saturday Morning Walkers - June 30, 2007

Hi everyone,

Well, it has been a pretty busy and exciting week around here - Jexy and Jacob came back with us from Los Angeles. Jacob had a great time at CU's Wild and Wonderful Day Camp at Chautauqua Park.

And as most of you know by now, The Grillo Center Labyrinth is complete and open to the public. Although it has taken almost 8 years to make this happen, it ended up taking less than 3 weeks to build, thanks to so many enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers.

We also had a wonderful visit on Wednesday with Rae's daughter and son-in-law Wendy and Jon, and grandkids, Jack and Calla. They were in Boulder briefly before heading up to Winter Park for a wedding.

Book Report:

Jexy is reading the memoir The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - see for an earlier review.

Jacob is enjoying a somewhat controversial The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden. The controversy is two-fold - feminists may object to the fact that this is a book designed for boys; and they are teaching certain activities which you might not want your child to know about - Jex will be reading it very selectively.

Amazon.comEqual parts droll and gorgeous nostalgia book and heartfelt plea for a renewed sense of adventure in the lives of boys and men, Conn and Hal Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys became a mammoth bestseller in the United Kingdom in 2006. Adapted, in moderation, for American customs in this edition (cricket is gone, rugby remains; conkers are out, Navajo Code Talkers in), The Dangerous Book is a guide book for dads as well as their sons, as a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age. Recall the adventures of Scott of the Antarctic and the Battle of the Somme, relearn how to palm a coin, tan a skin, and, most charmingly, wrap a package in brown paper and string. The book's ambitions are both modest and winningly optimistic: you get the sense that by learning how to place a splint or write in invisible ink, a boy might be prepared for anything, even girls (which warrant a small but wise chapter of their own).

Susan is going to make a valiant effort to get into our upcoming book club selection - book club is at my house next week! The selection is The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea is one of the writers who will be at The Literary Sojourn this October in Steamboat Springs -

From Publishers WeeklyStarred Review. "Her powers were growing now, like her body. No one knew where the strange things came from. Some said they sprang up in her after the desert sojourn with Huila. Some said they came from somewhere else, some deep inner landscape no one could touch. That they had been there all along." Teresita, the real-life "Saint of Cabora," was born in 1873 to a 14-year-old Indian girl impregnated by a prosperous rancher near the Mexico-Arizona border. Raised in dire poverty by an abusive aunt, the little girl still learned music and horsemanship and even to read: she was a "chosen child," showing such remarkable healing powers that the ranch's medicine woman took her as an apprentice, and the rancher, Don Tomás Urrea, took her—barefoot and dirty—into his own household. At 16, Teresita was raped, lapsed into a coma and apparently died. At her wake, though, she sat up in her coffin and declared that it was not for her. Pilgrims came to her by the thousands, even as the Catholic Church denounced her as a heretic; she was also accused of fomenting an Indian uprising against Mexico and, at 19, sentenced to be shot. From this already tumultuous tale of his great-aunt Teresa, American Book Award–winner Urrea (The Devil's Highway) fashions an astonishing novel set against the guerrilla violence of post–Civil War southwestern border disputes and incipient revolution. His brilliant prose is saturated with the cadences and insights of Latin-American magical realism and tempered by his exacting reporter's eye and extensive historical investigation. The book is wildly romantic, sweeping in its effect, employing the techniques of Catholic hagiography, Western fairy tale, Indian legend and everyday family folklore against the gritty historical realities of war, poverty, prejudice, lawlessness, torture and genocide. Urrea effortlessly links Teresita's supernatural calling to the turmoil of the times, concealing substantial intellectual content behind effervescent storytelling and considerable humor.

Jexy gave me a lovely book on Labyrinths - The Complete Guide to Labyrinths by Cassandra Eason - it is a great addition to my growing library on labyrinths!

Book Description
A universal symbol of transformation, the labyrinth was created in ancient times to represent humankind’s search for the core of divinity. Unlike a maze, which may have a confusion of circuitous tracks leading in all directions, a labyrinth has a single, winding pathway composed of 7, 11, or 12 circuits that spiral inward to a center. In THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LABYRINTHS, renowned British psychic and folklorist Cassandra Eason explores the mystery of this sacred symbol and explains how to harness its power for personal transformation, protection, healing, and enlightenment. Featuring rituals to honor grief or loss, nourish fertility, confront and resolve conflicts, and celebrate new beginnings, LABYRINTHS is a deeply spiritual guide to the meditative, intuitive, and creative power of this age-old symbol.

Website of the Week: - a great guide for finding out what's happening for kids in cities all over the country - perhaps you're expecting out of town guests with kids this summer and would like to find out about all the fun things going on around town.

Podcast of the Week: Filmweek with Larry Mantle - - FilmWeek is a locally-produced show, hosted by AirTalk's Larry Mantle, which offers up a mix of entertainment and film related live interviews and call-in discussions. Each show ends with reviews of new films and video releases from critics Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor; Jean Oppenheimer of Village Voice Media; Lael Loewenstein of Variety; Henry Sheehan of; Andy Klein, film editor and chief critic of CityBeat; and Charles Solomon, animation critic for

Vocabulary Word of the Week (from the Dangerous Book For Boys): Latin phrase every boy should know - iacta alea est -
Alea iacta est (also seen as alea jacta est) is Latin for "The die has been cast".

Actually quoted by Suetonius as iacta alea est [ˈjakta ˈaːlɛa ɛst], it is what Julius Caesar is reported to have said on January 10, 49 BC as he led his army across the River Rubicon in northern Italy. With this step, he entered Italy at the head of his army in defiance of the Roman Senate and began his long civil war against Pompey and the Optimates.

The phrase is still used today to mean that events have passed a point of no return, that something inevitable will happen, i.e., he cannot take back what he has done, much like the gambler who has wagered everything on a throw of the dice. Caesar was said to have borrowed the phrase from Menander, his favorite Greek writer of comedy. Plutarch refers that this words were said in Greek language:

Ἑλληνιστὶ πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας ἐκβοήσας, "Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος," [anerriphtho kybos] διεβίβαζε τὸν στρατόν.

He [Caesar] declared in Greek with loud voice to those who were present 'The die has been cast' and led the army across.

– Plutarch, 'Life of Pompey, Ch. 60'

By some accounts, Caesar used the imperative "iace" rather than the passive "iacta est" ("Cast the die!").[citation needed] In another context, "iacta est" could be translated as "was cast, i.e., as a "simple past." It is generally assumed, e.g. by Shakespeare, that Caesar here meant "The die has been cast" i.e., "The die is now cast" and not "The die was cast."

[edit] References in Popular Culture
In each edition of the enormously popular French comic book Asterix, once Asterix sinks the pirates' ship, the first mate says to the captain, "Alea jacta est."
In the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, there is an episode by this very name, instead it references the crossing of a joint Cardassian-Romulan fleet entering the Gamma Quadrant.
Alea Iacta Est is the password of Alpha Omega Theta Fraternity Inc, chosen by the fraternity's founder John Stefano in 1946. "Alea Iacta Est, The Die is Cast, Once it's Started it Can Never End." link
The phrase is displayed on one of the opening screens to the Playstation puzzle game Devil Dice.
"Alea jacta est" is the subject of a classroom lecture in the 2002 film, The Emperor's Club.

Cooking and Food Report - a couple of recipes worth mentioning

From Epicurious. com, we made Spaghetti and Mussels,Tomatoes and Oregano - - it is a keeper.

From Rachel Rays 30 Minute Meals for Kids - Cooking Rocks, Jacob made Purple Burping Cows - Jacob says, "I would never, ever, ever make them again. They were the worst thing on earth" - so there you have it - start with one 12oz. can of grape soda, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with mini-marshmallows. It sounded better than it tasted!

We had a lovely brunch with Wendy, Jon and kids while they were here - it is a favorite menu of ours for brunch:

Scrambled eggs garnished with chopped scallions
Bagels, cream cheese and lox
Tomatoes and red onions
Caperberries (capers on speed!)
Cantalope and figs with proscuitto

That's it for now! Have a lovely week, stay cool and visit the Grillo Center Labyrinth!