Tour of 5 Points

We headed into Denver yesterday for a tour of the historic 5 Points neighborhood. It was a co-op class through our homeschool group and it was one of the best tours we’ve gone on… The 5 Points neighborhood has, for many years, been the heart of the
African American community there so I especially wanted R to learn more about it. It’s an area rich in history, culture and it has a special kind of energy.

The one hour walking tour wasn’t nearly long enough to do more than scratch the surface of 5 Point’s history, but it was enough to give us a taste for the countless stories connected to the neighborhood and the people who’ve lived there, and make us hungry to learn more. Along our route there were signposts on some of the buildings, telling about their history, and about the people who were part of that history.

Needless to say R was fascinated… She knows it’s likely that at least some members of her birth family lived in 5 Points, and so the neighborhood is likely part of her personal story too… even though she’s never lived there.

I took a few pictures, but R wanted to be photographer for the day so she took most of these…

We started at 24th and Welton outside the Blair- Caldwell African American Research Library.

Here’s our wonderful tour guide… an educated, enthusiastic guide makes all the difference. He really made the history come alive!


Some of the plaques we stopped at…



District 3 Fire Station then:



And now…



The firefighters on duty were nice enough to come out and talk to us a little about the history of their station. It’s the city’s oldest operating firehouse and has been at this location since 1931. (The original station 3 was located right across the street… it started operating at that location in 1884!)  M started talking to the firefighters and discovered one of them was friends with our next door neighbor (also a firefighter). Leave it to M to find a connection there… what a small world!


R took a lot of pictures of the historical photographs displayed on the buildings around 5 Points… I especially liked this one of the mandolin and banjo players. ;)



We didn’t go into any of the shops or businesses during our tour, but after I saw this antique folding ruler star in a shop window I had to go back after the tour to get it.


It took two stops to catch someone at the shop, but I did get it and will hang it up someplace here… Not only is it kind of an interesting star, but I’m hoping it will be a visual reminder to R of 5 Points (5 points on the star, get it?) and the rich history of her ancestors that we learned more about there…

Thanks so much Liese for setting up this tour, it was the perfect way to spend the day!

If you would like to see more of our tour and learning more about the history of 5 Points, check out Liese’s post here, it’s a great post about the tour and 5 Points!


easy rolodex upcycle

Several months ago, Joe brought home a bunch of Rolodex cards that they no longer used at his work. He’d found them in a drawer somewhere, and probably should have just thrown them out… but he thought maybe I could use them. (This picture show about half of what he brought home!)

I’m not one to throw out something that could be useful either, and used a few of the card in my desktop organizer which I’d picked up at Goodwill, painted and distressed a few months earlier.

But there were still HUNDREDS of Rolodex cards left… way more cards than I would ever have friends! ;)

Then one day when I was hunting around for a piece of scrap paper for a phone number or something, I realized I should just start using those Rolodex cards as scrap paper. It was a perfect way to use them up. But I didn’t want a pile of old Rolodex cards sitting on my kitchen counter for the next five years… so I started thinking about how to corral them; keep them handy to use, but not taking up a lot of space or getting scattered all over the place.

This is what I came up with…

I’m so happy with how it turned out I thought I’d share. :)

First, I bought this old Rolodex holder at the thrift store for .99 (pretend it’s in one piece, I forgot to take a picture before we “disassembled” it. I only wanted the round part in the middle that holds the cards but couldn’t figure out a way to take it apart (it seemed to be glued), so Joe just broke the outside apart so I could get to the round card holding part.

Once I had the part I wanted I had to think of a way to hang it up. I’d already decided I wanted it hanging on the side of the frig. where it would be mostly out of sight,  but still handy for grabbing a piece of scrap paper. After going through Joe’s junk hardware drawers for inspiration, I found a few of these:

… which I thought would be perfect on the ends of the round card holder. I needed something there that would hold whatever cording I used to hang it with. Unfortunately my newly found spiggot handle end pieces wouldn’t attach to the metal piece that was running through the round card holder. A quick trip to Home Depot fixed that with a double threaded bolt that was the correct diameter to thread in the ends of my spiggot handle ends.

It was quick work to thread the bolt through the round plastic holder, then screw a spiggot handle to each end, and tie a piece of jute as a hanger. (A strong magnet holds it to the frig.)

I finished off my little project off with some labels E got me…  ;)

I’m very happy with how it turned out, and happy to have found a use for those cards…(we use them all the time now that they are handy!)

~Happy Monday~

Crazy Casa K


What makes me happy?

That the “barn art” I painted on the shed wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and is finished… except for a little touch up here and there.

Here’s a sneak peak…


More pictures later…  :)

(And apologies for ads that seem to be showing up here… I’m seeing links connected to words in this post that connect to ads. This must be because I’m still using my old brower to update this blog. Sigh… I’ll get it all fixed one of these days…)

International Book Week

My sister posted this on her facebook page, and I thought it would be fun to play along…

“It’s International Book Week
The rules: Grab the book nearest you, turn to page 52 and post the 5 th sentence on the page. Post the rules as part of your status.”

Here’s mine…page 52, sentence 5 ” Why, they just don’t let on, like she was a regular person.”

In reading the rules I guess I’m not supposed to post the title, and let people guess. I’m thinking it’s a longshot that, by one sentence anyone would know…

What are you reading? Want to guess what I’m reading?

Mr Watson, I do believe you’ve got it!

Doesn’t Sherlock Holmes say something like that when he’s figured out a mystery that has everyone at Scotland Yard scratching their heads in befundlement? (I can’t believe the spellchecker didn’t red underline befundlement… I didn’t even think it was a real word! I guess it is…)

Anyway… I’ve been unable to access this blog for days. It would look as though it recognized me as “owner” of the blog (showing me options for editing posts, etc.) but each time I’d try to actually DO anything it would give me an error message.

So I searched for fixes online… I ran my Norton… I defragmented… I asked my daughter to help and she had no problem accessing my blog from her computer… even being able to post. (Thank you B for your help!) I started another blog, wondering if it was the site… or me. The other blog worked fine. I started thinking it was time to look into a new computer, as everything I was reading was that my computer must have corrupted files and would soon be toast.

Yes… it’s been a frustrating week.

And then I decided to try another browser… I’ve gotten used to Google Chrome and really liked it, but I wondered if the corrupted files (or whatever was going on) was in my browser. So I set my old browser as my default and…

…wonder of wonders… here I am. No miserable error messages blocking me out. Yay!

On the agenda for today? (Now that I’m no longer spending countless hours trying to fix this computer…) Start painting the “barn art” on the side of the shed. I taped off the general shape on the shed and drew the design on (in pencil) the other day… and a quick run to Home Depot last night got me the paint I needed.

As soon as it warms up enough to paint, I’ll be out there…


the Cody Channel… all Cody, all the time

Cody got a new “do” the other day. I finally took him back to the place that groomed him right after we got him… and did such a good job. It costs more… but he looks so good when he’s done.


When we got home I thought I’d snap of few pictures of his newly combed out cuteness… but it ended up being more of a job than I thought it would.


He very obediently sat and stayed for me… all the time looking up down, over here over there. Unable to hold still for even a moment…


He had mischief in his eyes and wanted nothing more than to run around the house like a wild dog (getting rid of the smelly stuff they put on him!).


But finally he got tired of sitting and laid down…


I love his tidy little feet …


We’ll see how long it takes before he’s looking like his scruffy little self again!

a blast from the past

One of the cool things about blogging for a number of years is being able to look back at past blog posts… Just for fun (and because I can’t think of anything to write about) I decided to repost a “blast from the past”; a post I wrote in September of 2006. Enjoy! And have a good day…. :)
…oh, please let it be for me!
Oh-oh, the Wells Fargo wagon is a comin’ down the street,
I wish I wish I knew what it could be!
Am I the only one who loves the old musical “The Music Man”? Remember cute little red-haired Ronnie Howard, playing Shirley Jones’ little brother and singing this song?
I think of that song whenever the UPS man drives down our road. If the kids see him coming, they both drop whatever they are doing and watch him… until he either drives down our driveway, or keeps going past the house.
If he drives down the driveway, they both make a mad dash for the front door… sure he must have brought something wonderful for them. It doesn’t matter that they almost never get anything… that most of the stuff he brings is boring “dad” stuff, or homeschool materials. None of that matters… They greet the poor UPS guy like a long lost friend, while at the same time fighting over who gets to carry the package up to the house.
If you can picture both kids running madly out the front door, with Emma (our 90 lb golden retriever) right behind them “smiling” (looks like a snarl) and sneezing from excitement (the dog, not the kids)… you can probably imagine why the UPS guy sometimes seems a little hesitant to get out of his truck.
Anyway, yesterday was M and R’s lucky day. The package that came was for them! And it was from their Uncle Steve!! (a person whose reputation borders on the legendary at our house…)
They each got an awesome rugby shirt (and they both fit perfectly, a miracle!!) and I got some wonderful Barry’s tea. (Which I’m enjoying tremendously) M also got a personalized birthday card from Steve, which is too cool not to share…
Here’s the card… (edited to remove his name)

If you aren’t sure of the significance of the coat, please read this entry…)

Thanks Steve… you made our day.

Protected: ~Happy Monday~

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Outside my window…  although it’s after 6 it’s still dark, very dark as the sky covered with a thick layer of clouds dark… and it’s raining. Again. (or maybe still) No flooding here, thank goodness, and I’ve never been more thankful for a barn with a huge hay loft to keep our hay, and animals, out of the weather.

I am thinking… about how nice the quiet of the early morning is.

I am thankful… for the blessings of the “ordinary” days we’ve been having.

In the kitchen… I made rellenos and a big pot of green chili last night. Mmmm….my favorite dinner!

I am creating… I’ve been working to replenish my supply of knitted dishcloths (almost 4 done, I’d like to make another one or two) and working on learning some new mando tunes from the book my brother sent me. The book is Christmas music with “variations”; more complex arrangements and fingerings added to the simple old melodies. I’m having way too much fun working my way through the old familiar and old but new-to-me Christmas carols.

I am going… to brave the rain and go do the barn work in a minute. We’ve gone from 90+ degrees last week to needing to bundle up in a coat and big rain slicker this week. No I’m not complaining… this works for me. :)

I am hoping… M’s “movie night with the guys” tonight works out. He’s been so looking forward to having a couple of friends over to watch “guy” movies and hang out. I hope the rain doesn’t throw a damper on the evening.

I am looking forward to… taking the kids for a day trip next week to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. I was hoping to do it this week, but  it’s been TOO rainy. Next week should be perfect.

I am learning… some new mando tunes. Note to fingers: limber and quicken up!

Around the house… I’ve started working on a game table a bought a month or two ago. It’s a little rough now, and still in the “repair” stage of things… I’ll share pictures later.

I am pondering… no pondering this morning, brain isn’t awake enough yet. :)

A few plans for the rest of the weekend… finish shopping for daughter K’s birthday, get some movies for M and his buddies to watch tonight, Special Olympics bowling tomorrow, and a quiet stay home day on Sunday.

A peek into my day…


rain chimes doing their thing...


Visit Peggy’s blog for more about The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Thrifting Thursday (shed “foundation”)

The shed is nearly complete, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about how it’s turned out… the nice fresh paint, the cheery red metal roof… but then my neighbor came over the other day (the neighbor we share chickens with, she was bringing eggs) and kind of popped my job-well-done bubble. She started off by referring to the shed as our “Taj Mahal” (Hmm… have we gone a little overboard?? ) and then confessed it scared her… she’s afraid to walk past it.


Yes, I was seriously confused by this. The shed looks entirely non-threatening to me… it’s just a 10×10 building sitting on the edge of the driveway.

As my neighbor kept talking it came out that the openness underneath the shed was scaring her… she was sure something was going to make a home under the shed (a huge bull snake, or maybe a skunk?) and this loathsome creature would lay in wait for her (think dragon in a cave) coming out to ambush… or at least frighten… her as she walked by.


Hmm… this seemed a bit unlikely to me, but maybe I was missing the danger and we’d really built a hulking threat in the front pasture. And it was true that I wasn’t crazy about the way the shed seemed to “float” on it’s foundation stones (because the ground is uneven, leveling it left a good sized gap underneath on two sides), and I had thought I’d do something, someday, to “pretty” that up.  After hearing my neighbor’s fears I decided to move “someday” to “today” since my shed had apparently become somewhat of a threat to public safety. ;)

I decided to fix the problem by building a “faux” foundation out of large cobblestones. We ran down to the sand and gravel place and for $50. got over 2 tons of large cobblestones (choosing cobblestones because it would match the stones the kids and I had already edged the bottom of the driveway with).


We unloaded the stone out by the shed, and I played around a little with them on Sunday, laying them out to see how to make it look the way I wanted it to. Monday morning I got serious and little by little arranged the rock to close the gap under the shed and form a faux foundation of stone.


It wasn’t hard to do (if you don’t mind hauling rocks) I  mostly just piled them up in kind of a triangular shape… wider at the bottom for stability, using the biggest stones there, and saving the smaller stones for on top and filling in the smaller spaces. My goal was not to make a perfectly solid wall around the bottom of the shed, I had the wrong stones for that kind of thing… just have it mostly closed off. (Enough to reassure my neighbor and look nice at the same time!) The gap under the shed was large in places, but it filled in pretty well… and now there are just a few small spaces left for creatures to get in and possibly make their homes. (The only spot still open is in the front on either side of the ramp Joe is building, I can’t finish that side up until he’s done….)

My neighbor hasn’t been over since I finished the “foundation”… I hope she will feel better about walking past our shed now. ;)


Shed construction #1

Shed construction #2

Shed construction #3

Shed construction #4

Shed construction #5