Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Yesterday we took Abbott and Cal to the Pumpkin Prowl at the Woodland Park Zoo for the third year in a row. It is always exciting to see the pumpkins, and the costumes other prowlers are wearing, and get a little scared sometimes!
There were lots and lots of pumpkins:
My personal favorite:
What's not to love about face painting?
Is it real?
This pumpkin was wild - it appeared to be two fused pumpkins:
The zoo acquired flamingos this past year, so this was a neat addition to the prowl:
If you've got a picture of a favorite pumpkin, feel free to share the link in the comments section.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Here is the note left in my calendar by Alexi for the first practice:
- HAVE THEM GO TO THE BATHROOM
- long underwear for Cal
- garter belt
- shin guards
- socks, secured by garter belt
- clear plastic tape over socks to hold shin guards in place
- shoulder pads
- elbow pads
- walk to the door to the ice
- remove skate guards
Somehow I managed to get it all on them and get them on the ice on time, though I was sweating toward the end of the 30 minute dressing session!
And for the record, this hockey momma plans to vote for Obama!
Monday, October 20, 2008
The Washington Park Arboretum was established in 1934. The City of Seattle held title to a 200+ acre park located in a central portion of the city and agreed that the University of Washington could design, construct, plant, and manage an Arboretum and Botanical Garden in this park.
In 1936, James F. Dawson and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. of the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm were hired to design the first planting plan. According to Wikipedia, "Frederick Law Olmsted was a landscape designer and father of American landscape architecture, famous for designing many well-known urban parks, including Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City. Other projects include the country's oldest coordinated system of public parks and parkways in Buffalo, NY, the country's oldest state park, the Niagara Reservation in Niagara Falls, NY, Mount Royal Park in Montreal, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, MA, the Belle Isle Park, in Detroit, MI, the Grand Necklace of Parks including Washington Park in Milwaukee, WI, the Cherokee Park (and the entire parks and parkway system) in Louisville, KY, the Jackson Park, the Washington Park, the Midway Plaisance in Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition, the landscape surrounding the United States Capitol building, George Washington Vanderbilt II's Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario."
The Washington Park Arboretum is a living plant museum emphasizing trees and shrubs hardy in the maritime Pacific Northwest. Collections are selected and arranged to display their beauty and function in urban landscapes, to demonstrate their natural ecology and diversity, and to conserve important species and cultivated varieties for the future. The Arboretum serves the public, students at all levels, naturalists, gardeners, and nursery and landscape professionals with its collections, educational programs, interpretation, and recreational opportunities.
This statement was adopted January 4, 1996, by the Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee, established by the 1934 State Legislature, representing the University of Washington, the City of Seattle, The Arboretum Foundation, the local community and a governor's representative.
Alexi took these photos yesterday as we enjoyed an afternoon stroll in the park.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese
slightly adapted from November 2000 Cooks Illustrated
Warm pears work nicely in this salad, too.
For the roasted pears:
4 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the salad:
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper
2 bunches arugula, stems removed, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 7 cups)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes
For the pears:
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a non-stick baking sheet on the rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
Peel and halve each pear lengthwise and remove the core. Set each half cut-side down and slice it lengthwise into fifths.
Toss the pears with the melted butter, then toss with the sugar. Spread the pears in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet, making sure each slice lies flat on a surface. Roast until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Flip each slice and roast until tender and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Let the pears cool while preparing the salad.
For the salad:
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Combine the arugula and vinaigrette, and toss gently to combine. Divide among plates, and top with the pears, cheese and chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Thursday, October 9, 2008
We also love, love, love Laurie Berkner. We love her Victor Vito and Under a Shady Tree albums the most. Amazon's editorial review sums up her style very well:
"Laurie Berkner's Victor Vito is a 22-song giggle-fest for the under-7 crowd. Witness "The Goldfish," one of 16 originals on the former educator's third album, in which a bunch of fishies find themselves lathering up in the shower and pedaling furiously on bicycles until it dawns on them that their species doesn't do that sort of thing. And there's the title tune, which finds Victor Vito and Freddie Vasco snacking on a burrito with Tabasco and then tipping the hot stuff on their rice and beans and rutabagas and collard greens before Victor dives into a plate of spaghetti with Freddie...."
I often sing her song Moon, Moon, Moon to the boys at bedtime:
I'm a big fan of folk music, so I really enjoy a couple of Pete Seeger's albums, particularly Songs for Kids and Just Plain Folks. Gather Round is a wonderful collection of songs by various artists, such as The Rainbow Connection (Sarah MCLachlan), Puff (Peter, Paul & Mary), Froggie Went A Courtin' (Bob Dylan), The Lion Sleeps Tonight (The Tokens), I'm My Own Grandpa (Willie Nelson), Free To Be You and Me (The New Seekers), and more.
Finally, Hap Palmer is great. As stated by the amazon editorial review, "Hap Palmer is a master of entertaining and teaching children with music. Can a Jumbo Jet Sing the Alphabet? overflows with fun songs that will have your child dancing along while he or she encounters themes such as vocabulary, shape recognition, problem solving, spatial awareness, numbers, and cultural diversity." Our favorite albums of his are Two Little Sounds and Can a Jumbo Jet Sing the Alphabet?
Now, on to the Seattle kindie rock scene. My friend and fellow blogger Sherri is a true children's music aficionado. She was kind enough to write on this topic at my request.
Music to Your Ears: Recess Monkey
Before I became a parent, I thought all performers of children’s music were singing purple dinosaurs, sopranos or folk singers singing childhood favorites or goofy men dressed in odd costumes. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. My daughter and I have discovered a number of amazing musicians performing music for kids that parents can enjoy too.
One of our all-time favorites is the Seattle band, Recess Monkey. Recess Monkey is made up of three teachers, Jack, Drew and Daron, who teach pre-K through second grade at local independent schools. These guys know what is important to kids: making it across the monkey bars, wiggling a loose tooth, buying a new backpack for school.
Recess Monkey writes about these events in innovative and interesting ways. The band’s witty approach shows in their rhymes (“I’m getting closer with every reach. When I cross that epic span I’m gonna give a speech” (Monkey Bars)), puns (“stop your floundering,” “when I feel crabby,” “nothing there is watered down” (Aquarium)) and observations about life (I Got A Toy, But I Played with the Box).
The band cites The Beach Boys and The Beatles as inspirations. With songs like The Pool and My Pet Rock, and an album titled “Tabby Road,” the influence is clear.
The production value of Recess Monkey’s CDs increases with each of the band’s four albums. The best way to experience Recess Monkey, however, is to attend one of their live shows. That way, you can join the Monkey Bars conga line, go Down, Down, Down the roller coaster, and maybe even meet Drew’s mom. The Recess Monkey concert schedule is available here.
If you live outside Seattle, do not fret. Last summer Recess Monkey performed around the country. Literally. They travelled from Seattle to Chicago to New York and DC then on to Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix and Portland in a little more than two weeks. This road trip is documented in an entertaining blog. The band returned more confident, more funny, and more likely to travel by air next time. While you wait for news of the next Recess Monkey tour, you can watch video of the band here.
May your minivan CD player be filled with music the whole family can agree on, Sherri
Sherri aspires to live the Lecia Phinney lifestyle. She knows maybe a little more than she should about kindie rock. Please visit her blog, SherriLynn.
NOTE: All the songs listed in this post can be heard here.