August on TV

August 2017 2

Here are the topics that I mentioned on the segment today:

August 2017

Trying on some solar eclipse glasses!

You can watch the video here.
August 2017 1
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Gershwin at the Deer Valley Music Festival

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Earlier this spring, we attended the Utah Symphony’s Family Concert of Gershwin’s Magic Key. It was a musical biography of the composer George Gershwin and introduced us to many of his most famous works. When we saw that one of the events for the Deer Valley Music Festival this summer was a performance of Gershwin hits, we decided to go hear the full pieces in this wonderful atmosphere.

We have gone to concerts at the Deer Valley Music Festival before, and have always enjoyed getting a chilly break from the summer heat. We experienced a short cloud burst and afterwards it was the perfect conditions for a rainbow! This concert was great because one of the preeminent Gershwin pianists in the world was performing. The camera did close-ups of his hands while he was playing and showed it on the big screens to either side of the stage. It was mesmerizing!

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It isn’t always an easy trip to drive up to Park City and back to Salt Lake in the concert traffic at night, but we had a great time together as a family. On our way to the concert, we stopped for take-out dinner from Freshie’s Lobster Co. which was recently voted as having the best lobster rolls. They were delicious and tasted even better accompanied by the beautiful music and surroundings.

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Freenotes Harmony Park – Moab

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Last summer, I wrote a post about Fun Playgrounds around the state of Utah. They were spread all over the state and I didn’t know if we would ever have the chance to visit any of them in person. We spent last weekend in Moab, Utah and while I was planning our itinerary of activities, I remembered the post and the playground in Moab! I actually had to search through my archives and find the reference so I could be reminded of what exactly the playground was. And we made it!

The Freenotes Harmony Park in Moab is a part of their Rotary Park and is tucked away from the main town of Moab. It is quiet and relatively lush (green grass and trees) which is a contrast from the red rock and sand you see everywhere else. As soon as Theo saw the large musical instrument structures, he exclaimed, “This is awesome!”

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The philosophy behind the Freenotes Harmony parks (there are several around the country) is that recycling materials into aesthetically pleasing (both visually and aurally) structures in a natural setting can produce educational opportunities for kids. There were a lot of different types of “instruments” to play — from banging on drums to using the provided mallets to hit chimes and pipes. It was beautiful to hear all of the kids playing, even as we were walking away from the park back to our car.

I’m so glad we got the chance to try out something that I had once recommended on this website but hadn’t actually tried — and to discover that we indeed loved it! We had a great time in Moab (perhaps a post for another day) but it was a special treat to stop by this park.

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Utah Pride Festival 2016

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One of my main goals as a parent is to raise Theo to be an ally for LGBTQ+ issues. Theo’s uncle (my brother) is gay and married, and having two uncles is normal for Theo. He also has classmates and friends at school with two moms and two dads, so it’s just a part of regular life for him. One way to show our support to this community is to attend the annual Utah Pride Festival which is now in its 41st year!

The image above (from the Pride Festival’s Facebook page) includes a lot of the information that is relevant to families and kids, but one event I want to highlight is a Children’s Book Reading to be held on Saturday, June 4th from 3-5pm. Storytellers from The King’s English Bookshop will be reading picture book favorites at the Library Outdoor Amphitheater at Library Square during this time.

Bring your family and have some fun this weekend! Remember that kids 10 and under are free with an adult, and adults can buy their tickets to the Festival here.

Inversion Protection

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Courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune

As I type this, I’m looking out my windows into a haze of nondescript gray haze. It looks much like the photo above of the Utah State Capitol, which is at the same elevation as where I live.

I downloaded the Utah Air app for my phone and watch with increasing dismay at the hazardous levels of air quality in our city. Theo’s school is keeping kids inside for recess during the day. I have a scratch in my throat and congestion that I fear is due to the conditions outside rather than a virus. It’s sad to say that it’s come to this, but I’ve started to do a little research about face masks, especially for kids.

Here are a few choices I’ve discovered:

Vogmask

  • You can purchase at the link above or they are sold on Amazon
  • They have a wide range of sizes, starting from XS (10-24 lbs), S (25-50 lbs) and M (51-120 lbs) as well as larger sizes for adults
  • There are lots of different patterns and designs to choose from

Scough

  • This is a combination mask/scarf so it is a more discreet way to protect your face than a mask
  • It purports to block not only air pollutants but also germs that cause illness
  • Comes in kids styles/sizes (more like a neck gaitor) as well as longer scarves
  • As I was doing research, it seemed that the effectiveness of an air mask is in large part due to the seal around the nose and mouth. This scarf is much looser around the face.

3M Mask

  • No frills, actual mask used to protect against fine particulate matter
  • Disposable, rather than the reusable (with replacement filters) masks like the ones above
  • Less expensive per unit, but again, disposable

I think there’s definitely a trade-off between what a kid (or adult, for that matter) will actually wear vs. the effectiveness of the mask.

Of course, getting a mask at all is just putting a short-term Band-aid on the overall problem of our poor air quality. During days like these when the air is literally in our face and we can’t ignore it, consider learning more about groups like Utah Moms for Clean Air who are working towards a healthier environment for all of us.