Jack is 11 months, the Denver teacher strike hits us

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Jack is 11 months old today. I already invited 2 of his friends for a puppy birthday party next month, I love this dog!

I had to run by the docs to give a blood sample, they are getting better, only 1 poke today and they even matched the tape to my shirt.

Our plan was to go hear the Denver East HS choir sing at St. John’s. I can’t tell you how excited the girls were, they’ve been waiting to hear them at the cathedral again for a year. Well, no show. Denver teacher’s are on strike and apparently they can march to the Capitol, but can’t march the choir 1 block off their route for the show. I get it, they want more money, but those kids practiced, they were looking forward to it, we were looking forward to it. It was not good. So, we headed over to SAME cafe’ for lunch, at least that was fine.

And there was no line at LM’s.

Back at home the girls worked on some stuff, I cleaned up, Jack ran around with his ball. We went by Goodwill, Home Depot and then I started dinner. My back hurts, but Hannah and I are going to Holy Yoga tonight, so maybe that will help it.

Hannah was working on a list – attributes of God – for dance last week. I like the list we came up with – Holy, slow to anger, merciful, full of truth, forgiving, kind, compassionate, loving, Fatherly, comforting, healer.

Monday

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Hannah and I went to NIA this morning, it was a nice routine, very fast and hardly any downtime. I made it to the end, but I don’t get on the floor for the yoga/cooldown, I sit in a chair. I tried to get on the floor, but I was dizzy coming up so fast, so for now, chair. I came home, facilitated some school while James was working upstairs. Then Grace drove to CC and Jack and I sat around waiting for Hannah to get her hair cut. I had a little time at home to load stuff into the car (Goodwill run) and check in for the DMNS trip, then it was back to pick up Grace and head to Solid Grounds where she did some art and I worked on random stuff while Hannah was at ballet and dance. I was telling a friend there about how another friend was always biting my head off on FB when I agreed with her or when I disagreed with her. The person would delete my comments from her post if I said anything, good or bad, my opinion or just anything. My friend said, then why do you post comments and why is she your friend? Good point. So, I deleted her from my list and now I don’t see anything from her and she doesn’t see anything from me. I think that will make her happy, this way she doesn’t have to delete my comments 🙂

I had put dinner in the crock pot before lunch and had the cornbread ready to cook, James just threw it in the oven. We were both so tired that we watched a little bit of our Agatha Christie movie and then went to bed early.

Chinese New Year, Broken shovels farm

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Since Bethany didn’t have a car….she came with us to the Far East center Chinese New Year fest.

Jack thought it was very loud, he didn’t mind the drums and cymbals from far away, but he had his limit on how close he would get. It was a good show, Hannah got a stuffed pig and green tea kit-kats, we ate banh mi sandwiches and had a good time. I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry for dinner, but it was make your own pizza, so I eventually did.

Sunday I took the girls to a Valentine cuddle at the farm, it wasn’t so much a cuddle as a pet – the pigs were very pokey.

We got out to Petsmart with Jack, he was happy.

Then we chilled back at the house and had orange chicken for dinner.

Our week – NIA, school, Grace working, ballet/dance (Hannah), blood draw, St. John’s music at noon, dropping Valentines at Lambuth shelter, Holy Yoga, Joel comes in on leave, Walk2Connect (Montbello), Highlands Ranch mansion Valentine event, youth group, Kindness Krewe (Valentines at senior center), Taco Bell night (Valentine’s day), HS skate, TNO (Pho at Southglenn), don’t know about the weekend yet.

Dinners -rice/beans and cornbread, blue cheese stuffed pork chops and stuffed mushrooms, keema aloo and injera, Taco Bell (Valentine’s day), creamy chicken soup, waffles/eggs/sausage, fettuccine shrimp alfredo.

Keema Aloo

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 extra-large Spanish onion, chopped
2 tablespoons water (optional)
2 pounds lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1 serrano chile pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 teaspoon garam masala

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion in the hot oil until soft and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. If browned bits of onion are stuck to the bottom of the pan, stir water into onion and stir to loosen the browned bits.
Mix ground beef, garlic, ginger, serrano chile, and cilantro into pan; cook and stir until beef is browned and crumbly, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir coriander, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and turmeric into the beef; cook and stir until flavors blend, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and potatoes, cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mix green peas into dish and cook until sauce has slightly thickened and flavors have blended, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala over the dish, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

MOA, Walk2Connect, Fire and Ice fest, Kittehs

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I am so behind.

So, last Monday ballet and dance started for Hannah. They aren’t offering adult classes (again) and I think that the season for dancing as an adult with CMA is over. The teachers have gotten married, had babies, moved, have other jobs, there just isn’t the teacher or time for it right now. That could change, but I doubt it.

Tuesday we had our free MOA Natura Obscura exhibit on Tuesday, it was a (very) mini Meow Wolf type exhibit. But first, lunch.

We had black lights that lit up areas on the floor, we used an app on our phone to turn on things or see things that weren’t there in real life.

There were things to touch, a swing, things to listen to, it was pretty cool. Tuesday night I took the train downtown to meet James for LAPOMPE jazz at Union station.

It was great. Then, we had a double jazz night with jazz at Phil’s.

Wednesday I had said we were walking with Pam at Walk2Connect in Montbello. It was snowing, but she (and one senior) were still walking so….we loaded up and drove out there. We made 1.5 miles before the snow really started coming down and we ended the walk.

I wish I could say I was smart and went home, but we were close to the Wildlife refuge so….we drove there.

We were leaving when the snow started coming down even harder and blowing so much that I could barely see the road (they don’t really plow out there.) It took us just over an hour to get home, it was very slow on the freeway, but the roads were plowed and not slick. Wednesday evening we left James at home with Jack and went out in the snow (and cold, it was 7 degrees) to the Fire and Ice festival.

We made s’mores before I thought about the fact that the chocolate was just sitting there, frozen, I chomped down and guess what? A hot marshmallow doesn’t melt chocolate that is frozen. I just had one s’more.

There was a huge block of ice with fire inside of it, some sculptures, the art inside, a min-theater, dancing lights and fire dancers.

It started snowing again as we left, but even though the snow was blowing the roads were fine.

Thursday we dropped Jack at Petsmart and were about to take the train downtown for the symphony when I got a call that it was canceled because none of the school buses could make it there on time with a delayed start due to snow. Why that is MY problem, I don’t know. They don’t think they will reschedule it either, so that sucked. So, we grabbed laptops and did coffee school.

Since it was tamale Thursday, we went to Adelitas for that, then I made a 50 cent corn dog Sonic run (Hannah didn’t want tamales.)

We picked up Jack and a new shirt (The guac is extra and so am I), he loves it (not really, but I don’t care.)

Friday we did school then headed to the Rocky Mt. Feline Rescue to see what was up there. We have a group coming in April, so I wanted to make sure they were cool with it an what kind of supplies they needed. It’s a free roaming shelter, though they do have a few rooms set up for sick or shy cats to keep them safe.

Due to the dander, we lasted about 30 minutes before having to leave, but it was nice. The evening was crazy. Bethany was coming home and her car stalled pretty close to home, meanwhile I was picking up Aaron and Grace and driving them to a library cupcake war in Arvada while James was driving Hannah to a different library for a murder mystery. James waited with Bethany for a tow, then took her home (I got someone to drive Hannah home), meanwhile Jack and I were exploring Petsmart in Arvada while waiting on the kids.

Cupcakes.

Driving, hike, chocolate fest

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On Thursday we did some school and then Grace drove us to the Paint MInes. In all she drove 3 hours on highway, freeway, county roads, roundabouts, merging, traffic, construction, etc. It was good weather and good driving conditions and an easy way to get 3 hours and a hike in.

But, when we got to the Paint MInes a sign said ‘no dogs’, so Jack and I stayed on a bench while the girls went down to the hoo-doos to take pics.

Friday we did short school (LA, math, Biology, History, English) and then went to the Platte river for a hike. Another family (with a teen!) showed up.

We walked 3 miles and it wore Jack out.

Saturday we took Jack for a puppuccino, then dropped him at puppy daycare while we went to The Cereal Box and the Chocolate fest in Arvada.

We stopped in at various shops to sample their chocolate or candy or drinks or whatever they were hosting for the fest.

Hannah and Grace both won a plushy!

Breckenridge

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Should we skip school, ride with a friend up to Breck and see the very last day of the snow sculptures….well, of course we should!

My friend Ann wanted to see the sculptures, last week the weather was too snowy for my van, so she said she’d drive this week. It all worked out. It was a bit chilly, but not terrible up there. Jack was happy to have a higher seat to see out of, so he stayed awake for almost the whole ride up.

FIrst stop, ice sculptures, they were in the shade at this time of day.

Then on to the snow sculptures. I don’t agree with 2nd place over 3rd place, but I’m no judge.

2nd place Sphere and holes.

3rd place Hippo Ballerinas.

1st place, this angler type fish.

Jack playing King of the HIll.

Dance, party, computers, mall, Coney island, snow

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Friday –

Time for the Winter Wonderland dance. I dropped off the girls and… they had fun! I was sure I’d pick them up early, but they stayed from 6 to 9:30pm.

Saturday it was go to the mall (and I put pics of Jack all over the Microsoft store computers.)

And got some late b-day pics of Bethany (the mall has great backdrops.)

Then it was off to drop the girls at the MCA for an 80’s party.

I took the opportunity to run by the Courthouse to take pics of the lights.

Sunday we went to church and decided to take a drive to Coney island for hot dogs.

When we got home, Jack was bored.

Goings on, school, work for Grace, river samples, teen poe-tea, ice carvings, youth group, teen science cafe, driving practice, Paint mines, doc, blood draw, Platte hike, Chocolate affair, church, zoo (maybe)

Dinners -Italian sausage and potatoes, chicken pot pie, hamburger patties with mushrooms and onions, beef and barley stew, aloo phujia, chicken with tabbouleh.

Aloo Phujia

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes, chopped
1lb cubed pork

Lightly brown onion in oil in a medium size skillet.
Stir in salt, cayenne, turmeric and cumin. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes and pork, cover pan and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

Snow dog on Monday.