Meet San Juan Parent.

San Juan Parent is written by a posse of parent writers scattered throughout Southwest Colorado and beyond. We write about food, travel and books, adventure and relaxation, local events and activities, all from the parental perspective. From our communities to yours, welcome!

Recent Posts from SJP Contributors

Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy

Juliet Carr’s Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy (Adapted from USA Weekend Magazine November 11-13, 2005) I found this recipe before I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner as an adult. I have never cooked a turkey any differently since then and am asked for the recipe all the time. I am honored to share my adaptation with you here and know you will love it! I have a girlfriend in town who attend service at the Methodist Church on Sunday and shared with me a piece of the sermon. The idea was of not simply celebrating Thanksgiving once a year but celebrating every day by Thanksliving – and thus the name of this recipe. Also, it is so good I have roasted a turkey for a mid-summer dinner and you can too! I always use a Butterball Turkey because someone special to me works at the Butterball hotline. If you have any questions please call 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Make sure your turkey is thawed in the fridge one day for every four pounds of your bird. At least 24 hours before you want to cook your turkey prepare the following brine recipe in a designated 5 gallon bucket. You can purchase such a bucket from a hardware store with a lid and then make sure it is the only thing the bucket is ever used for. Take the neck and gizzards out of the cavity of the bird before you brine it. If you have a dog at home, they can gnaw on the raw neck as a special treat.       Mix the following ingredients in the bucket.   Brine Recipe... read more

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice-Strengthening My Relationship with My Son

I’m a mom of two teenagers.  I find this time of my parenting experience the most difficult so far.   Communication right now is the most challenging task I’m experiencing.   When they were babies and they gurgled, grunted, or cried I knew it usually meant they needed one of several things…a diaper change, something to eat, or some love and comfort.  Fast forward 13 years when they are fully capable of speaking in complete sentences and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what they need.  Teens are challenged with rapid physical, emotional, and social growth that is tough to maneuver through.   They are trying to do things on their own and become more independent.  They want the independence but are not always sure how to accomplish it.  More responsibilities and academic expectations are placed on them in school.  And navigating extra-curricular activities and social circles is a hard task.   Withdrawal from parents is a normal and common action.  They prefer to be with their peers instead of their parents.  And the days of endless conversation you had with them when they were younger are now shortened to one or two word replies.    No volunteered information about their day at school or what is happening in their lives.   I feel like I’m a dentist pulling teeth to be able to extract some tidbits from their day.  I’m working on this though, I have found if you are just there, relaxed, and willing to listen the sharing will come. I had a fantastic morning with my son this week during one of their vacation days from school.  After a... read more

School should be like Pandora

Dame Gillian Lynn is a world fameous dancer and choreographer.  You may know her work.  The broadway show Cats or the Phantom of the Opera? She’s incredibly accomplished, but her childhood began with her parents desperate and concerned.  She wouldn’t sit down, would fidget and couldn’t pay attention at all.  Her mother was beside herself and took her daughter to their family physician.  After hearing her mother’s concerns, he asked Gillian’s mother to follow him and they left the room with a radio on.  He then asked her mother to peak in the room.  Gillian was jumping and wiggling to the radio.  He then said, “There’s nothing wrong with your daughter.  She is a born dancer; you should enroll her in a dance academy.”  Dame Gillian is closing in on ninty today.  Still dancing away.  What would have happened in that doctors office today?  Would she be dancing?  I think it’s time to re-think education, and here’s how our family is doing it. Guess where my son is today? It’s a Friday at 10 am. He’s in school of course… but where? He is at the local hospital cafeteria. He went and ordered some food. Sat down at a booth and plugged some headphones into his laptop. He’s eating pancakes and sipping his orange juice while he listens to an online lecture. I’m keeping tabs on him through his cell phone, and his dad (who works at the hospital) is popping in and out as well. He’s going to have finished his entire day’s school work by about 12-1 pm. I don’t homeschool him. Thank goodness. I’m sure I would be a grumpy, evil, tyrant.... read more

Is your phone a pain in the neck??

The latest health concern created by our love for our technology is called text neck.  Its that burning, aching pain you feel in your upper back and neck when your look down to read a text or email or decipher the tiny print on your phone. Try a quick experiment. Stand or sit up straight.  Imagine that you are being pulled up gently by the crown of your head (back where a little boy might get a rooster tail in his hair). This should elongate your spine. Your posture should be pretty good in this position and the weight created by  your roughly 10-12 pound head feels like about 10-12 pounds to your neck. This should feel pretty good. Next look down at your down at your phone.  Really let it all hang out and pretend you are really into whatever is written in that super tiny text. Spend a few minutes there, maybe five. Starting to feel a little burn up between your shoulder blades?  Maybe a little neck pain?  In this position our necks think our heads way about 60 pounds.  A recent study found that adults spend between 700 and 1,400 hours a year this way.  Teenagers maybe spending  5,000 hours or more. They just have younger joints and don’t feel it quite as much- at least for now… Now get back into that good posture we talked about earlier- eyes forward, head upright.  If you bring your phone up a bit and tilt your head down a little your neck thinks your head weighs about 27 pounds.  Still kind of heavy, but about half what the... read more

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Today, September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention in coordination with the World Health Organization organize the publicity, information tools, and statistics for this day. Their 2015 toolkit and press package are full of information. Their opening statement on the IASP website says: “Reaching out to those at risk of suicide According to the recently released World Health Organization (WHO)   report:Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, over 800,000 people die by suicide across the world each year. The report notes that this estimate is conservative, with the real figure likely to be higher because of the stigma associated with suicide, lack of reliable death recording procedures, and religious or legal sanctions against suicide in some countries. We may not be able to pinpoint the exact figure, but we do know that each individual suicide is a tragic loss of life. It is hard to imagine the extreme psychological pain that leads someone to decide that suicide is the only course of action. Reaching out to someone who is struggling can make a difference. ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention(IASP) and the WHO, a co-sponsor of meetings and events related to WSPD 2015.. Since 2003, WSPD has taken place on 10th September each year. It serves as a call to action to individuals and organizations to prevent suicide. This year, the theme encourages us all to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide. The act of showing care and concern to... read more

A love letter to Montrose – part 2

In my last article I think I did a decent job of shaming the front range snobs, and their disdain for our “crappy half” of the state. Today, I’m going to point out just how awesome Montrose is! Montrose is AWESOME because it’s NEAR everywhere everyone wants to be… follow me here… I grew up in Crawford. I know most of you haven’t heard of it. It’s the town on the other side of the Black Canyon. You didn’t know there was a town there? Oh. You didn’t know there was another side…?? Please tell me you knew about the canyon?!? Crawford has a population of about 200. Give or take. And my husband is from Kansas. His town was at least double the size of mine. At least! We met in college in Los Angeles. The city of Angels… and smog… and a few more people that we were used to. When we had graduated we moved up into one of the quaint rural mountain towns in the surrounding area. We’d left the city behind! It was heaven. Until the weekend. Then the city showed up. Do you know what people in Los Angles do on the weekends? They ‘visit the snow.’ They visit it. Like it’s grandma. So, let’s say you get in from a work trip on a Friday night. And you’re driving home to your newly married husband… You can’t even get up the darn mountain to your house because there is bumper to bumper traffic from people ‘visiting’ your snow. Yes! And do you know what they do next? I am NOT joking. They... read more

Why Montrose is AWESOME!!!! A love letter – Part One

I recently saw a Facebook post from a “friend” (…you know what I mean…) who said how much he can’t stand the “crappy half” of Colorado. He meant us: me and a lot of you. It may shock you that he regularly spouts off about the backward, intolerant people in the “crappy half” of Colorado. Well. He is wrong. We are NOT the crappy half – we are the AWESOME half. And I’ll tell you why. First Point: We are NOT backward. Do you know how many minorities have been mayor in this town?? Or how many mayors were women?? Or women-minorities? We’ve got a pretty killer record on that front for such a backwater crew! And… talk about minorities!! Do you know who owns Coffee trader?? Do you know?? That’s right – I’ll say it… Asians. (Disclaimer – I had Phong and Dee check that joke. They thought it was funny – you can laugh.) So, I know he thinks that I should be ashamed of my backwater, non-diverse community in which a good third of my kids classmates are Hispanic, and the wealthy kids are being quizzed on multiplication by their best friends who are getting subsidized lunch. You know, a non-diverse community where ranchers are Democrats, and hippies are Libertarians. Point number two: We all know why he doesn’t like the “crappy half” of Colorado and it’s not for our Hispanics, or our special coffee shop owners, no – he judges us for our ‘God and Gun’s view of the world, and yes – I will admit, we do vote a little more Texas and a... read more

Cha Cha Cha Cha Changes….

For anyone who wasn’t paying close attention this year it might be easy to get confused.  Many of the schools are starting on different days from one another.  So if you were used to all of your kids heading out to start the first day of school together and grab that pinterest perfect photo – this year it won’t be as smooth.  My 3 kids will all have a different “first” day this year. If you aren’t sure which days your kiddos will be starting – or if you had assumed that they were all starting on the same day/time, be sure to check out your school on Parent Portal.  Even the start times have changed for several schools.... read more

Are you ready for FAIR?!?

    The Montrose County Fair is coming up! If you aren’t a member of 4H it can be easy to miss this in the busy stuff of summer, but it really is such a wonderful sample of Americana.  There are farm animals galore.  Kids learning to do all manner of craftsmanship.  It will give you a nice chance to see there are still places to focus on the simple and basic trades of rural life. Bring a few bucks for snacks, squeeze in some time to watch local kiddos show their lambs or cows, and tour the accomplished crafts, foodstuffs, and quilts.  There is a little something for everyone and it’s wonderful to see what some of the kids you know are getting involved in. And you can’t miss the rodeo!  Mutton Bustin’ alone is worth the price. I also hear there’s a really fun community dance at the end of the week.  I think a few marriages got there start at that thing.   A mosey through the livestock or a turn around the dancefloor – there’s a lot of fun to be... read more

Coconut oil

Today – some advice from the trenches. We are diseased.  We are a family in which someone at almost every moment has some weird funk. This is primarily do to my son the Wrestler.  They get EVERYTHING.  I mean… wow… I had no idea that THAT condition could even grow in THAT place! kinda stuff.  Plus, I have sensitive skin, my kids play in mud and such, my husband’s a dirt bag climber.  Things are breeding and stewing and we are all up in it. After our third round of ring worm for the season, and ton’s of OTC anti-fungals as well as some gnarly (and ridiculously expensive) oral meds I got in touch with a Mother of 3 wrestlers and asked how to function. Her answer was raw coconut oil. And… it works.  On – like – EVERYTHING.  It takes forever… weeks often… but it has become our go to.  The minute we see anything weird we just slap coconut oil on it. Yes, it could just be that our family is somehow pre-disposed to its effectiveness, but if you’re looking for a fix one day and willing to give it a try – it hasn’t let us... read more

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