Thursday, May 29, 2008

Territory Days

Territory Days is a three-day street fair held in Old Colorado City (in Colorado Springs) every Memorial Day Weekend.

Brian and I headed down on Saturday with our neighbors Ryan and Amanda

and headed to the fair with Kevin, Marjorie (and baby Noleen #2), and Camryn.

Last year we felt a little out of place in our normal clothes. So this year, we dressed the part.

Kevin wore the sleeveless plaid shirt, Brian and Ryan had on their new wolf and bear t-shirts, I made sure to pull out a tube top for the event, Amanda had on the trucker hat and pigtails...and Ryan's belt buckle even had a bottle opener on it!

Needless to say, we headed straight for the beer garden.

It was amazing how many people were drinking beer already at noon....

All the guys took turns carrying Camryn in the backpack to give Kevin and Marjorie a rest.

We ate lots of food (sweet corn, gyros, more gyros, meat on a stick, and a chocolate covered jalapeno!)

This picture sort of typifies the Territory Days experience. Check out the she-mullet!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Recent Happenings...

We've been busy with lots of fun things lately. First of all...I got a raise! And my husband surprised me by leaving work early, cleaning the house, and putting champagne on ice. I came home on Friday afternoon to this. A cold bottle of good champagne, and a new CD (live show from my favorite, Gillian Welch). What a nice boy....

We started and ended the weekend with champagne (all weekends should be like that...)

Sunday we hosted a Mother's Day brunch for both our mothers...Delly and Chris. Both families were there, and a wonderful time was had by all. And look, the yellow shirt gang made another appearance!

As you may know, my mother Delly is retiring after teaching for 30 years at the same school, Deer Creek Elementary School in Bailey, Colorado. We're having a BBQ at my parents' house in a couple weeks, but her coworkers at Deer Creek put on a very nice party for her last week. The staff pitched in and presented her with this beautiful rocking chair.

Several staff members and former students spoke. And then, the principal announced that the library at Deer Creek Elementary School is officially being named the Delly Ingersoll Library! She was very surprised and honored by this. I thought it was the most perfect way to honor her legacy at that school. She has spent her career teaching kids to love reading as much as she does. How cool....

And last, but certainly not least, we went to see our new obsession, the Flight of the Conchords, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House last week with our friends Amanda and Ryan. They were hilarious, we had great seats, and Jemaine was gorgeous as ever. If you're not familiar with Flight of the Conchords, check them out in this youtube

and then go buy the first season of their HBO show on DVD. You'll never be the same.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My dear friends Bay and Jesse, and their children Stella and Mosely, live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and Bay's 30th birthday was last Thursday, May 1st. As a gift to his wife, Jesse flew me to Arkansas to surprise Bay on her birthday.

It was great fun to be in on such a surprise. I called Bay on my way to the airport, as I call her every year on her birthday. We'd been playing phone tag for about a month, so I felt like I had to be somewhat talkative, even though I knew that we had all weekend to talk. I still kept the conversation pretty brief and told her I had to get back to work.

Of course my plane was late. If I had arrived on time, Jesse would have gotten home at his normal time. So, Bay kept calling his phone as we drove from the airport in Tulsa (about 1 1/2 hours away) and Jesse didn't think he could pull it off if he answered the phone. So, he just ignored it. Her final message said something to the effect of, "I'm home cooking my OWN dinner on MY birthday...where are you?" Hee Hee....

So, needless to say, Bay was super surprised! When Jesse told her to come outside and see her birthday present, she thought it might be a tree, or some sort of livestock.

We had a great birthday dinner Thursday night with Jesse's father and grandfather. And then the real excitement began....

I was sound asleep when I heard some sort of loud siren through the open window. Bay came in my room shortly afterwards with Mosely in her arms, and woke me up. I immediately asked her, "what's that sound?". She replied that it was a tornado siren! Well that got me up. She told me that we needed to go to the crawl space and then left the room. In my sleepiness and unfamiliarity with tornadoes in general, I didn't realize the urgency of the situation. So, she soon came back into the room and told me she meant that we need to go to the crawl space NOW!

So, we spent about half an hour in the crawl space with the dogs and kids while the storm raged outside. It was VERY exciting! The siren wasn't sounding anymore, and the rain seemed to have subsided a bit, so we headed back inside. It definitely took me a while to fall back asleep after all that.

The next morning, after the power finally came back on, we learned that a tornado had in fact set down in Siloam Springs, that severe damage had been done in the town, and that a 15-year old girl had been killed when a tree landed on her family's trailer.

On our way to the store, we drove around town to survey the damage. There were lots of very large, old trees that had been completely ripped out of the ground.

We also saw this house which had been practically cut in half by a tree.

The damage appeared to be very localized. Some of the worst damage was just blocks from Bay and Jesse's property. Luckily, their farm wasn't damaged at all, and their friends and family were all safe. Still a pretty amazing lesson in the power of Mother Nature.

Friday afternoon we packed the kids and gear in the suburban and headed east from Siloam Springs to go camping with some of their friends to celebrate Bay's birthday. On the way, we stopped for a quick hike to see some petroglyphs that Jesse knew about.

We drove and drove to the top of White Rock Mountain (which Stella was quick to point out wasn't actually white, but more gray-ish). We had the most beautiful campsite.

The kids were happy to just be running around outside after all that time in the car.
We watched the sunset from the edge of this cliff.

Bay made a big pot of chili for the group, and friends from all over showed up to play music, eat birthday cake, and sit around the campfire. It was a very cold night, so we didn't waste any time packing up camp in the morning and heading for the nearest truck stop for breakfast.

We warmed up with eggs and pancakes and coffee...but before we headed home, Ed and Jesse wanted to pick a little. And what better place to do that than in the parking lot?

Pretty soon, we were sprawled in the parking lot listening to the music and visiting.

We ended up being there for about 3 hours! We definitely had some curious onlookers....
Bay was even wearing her birthday socks that I knit for her.

As soon as we were home, Bay and I showered and jumped in Ben's car and headed to Fayetteville for the night. We were so pleased to make it to the Hog Haus brewery in time to watch the Kentucky Derby.

Then Ben (Jesse's dad) treated us to dinner at the Pesto Cafe, which was a great italian place with pictures of Jerry Garcia and mushrooms all over the walls! We took our time enjoying dinner and sharing a bottle of wine. It was so nice to have Bay all to myself...we probably haven't had a night out like that in over 5 years!

We spent time around the house on Sunday morning. Bay and Jesse live on a family farm where four generations currently reside (Jesse's grandfather Pop, Jesse's father Ben, Bay and Jesse, and the kiddos). Here's the house Bay and Jesse built a couple years ago.

We enjoyed the beautiful weather, and visited Stella's pony.

The weekend was full of surprises....including this goat that made an appearance in their yard right before I left for the airport!

Thanks Jesse! It was a dream come true to spend the weekend with all the GreenHills!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Excuse Me Waiter, There's a Locust In My Water

Passover was wonderful as always. Passover and Thanksgiving are my very favorite holidays because they are all about sitting down with the people you love and spending lots of time enjoying each other's company, giving thanks, drinking, and eating good food. What a wonderful tradition.

For as many years as I can remember, we've been celebrating Passover with the Bernsteins. They are dear family friends; I grew up with Archie and Simcha. Renee sets the most beautiful Seder table.
Here are Renee and my mom getting ready for the festivities.

And this is what I saw when I got to my seat at the table. Not your typical Passover place setting, right? I knew we were in for some fun....
Who doesn't love finger puppets? The finger puppets represent the 10 plagues on Egypt (locusts, boils, etc...) And there were face masks. Here are our lovely hosts Renee and Steve playing the part of the wild beasts!

Delly and Renee aren't looking so sweet anymore, are they?

Brian and I were the Butcher and the Angel of Death....
Adam and Mari were the Cat and Water... (by the way, Mari was a big hit at the Seder. Everyone agreed that she was the best first-Passover gentile yet. Maybe it was her leading of the loud, raucous songs that did it...)

and George and Susan were the Fire and the Ox....

Overall, a wonderful celebration. The food was delicious, the company was great, we had good political and cultural conversations, and we remained aware, amongst all our silliness, of the real meaning of Passover. We were all thankful to be free, as Jews, to celebrate together on this holiday.
But, I'm going to be honest with all started with this....about 4 bottles of it actually.