Monday-Thursday

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Monday was park day/get rid of a bunch of crap day. I hauled so much stuff to the park and then (since only 2 people showed up) I hauled almost all that I brought to Goodwill.

Grace did a super fast octopus drawing and I got to chat with 2 Moms for 2 hours, which was lovely.

I got my hummingbird feeder filled and found a table for the front porch.

Tuesday I went to the MOA for the Rauschenberg exhibit, I didn’t realize he was born in Port Arthur, TX. Grace came too and we walked around for about 30 minutes looking at the art (it’s a small museum.) Jack says art makes him tired.

I was moaning about the fact that King Soopers has had 0 cans of pickled beets and a friend said she had a jar – come get them, so I did.

It was very hot, Jack is smart.

Marley, not so much.

Chalk art for tonight.

Wednesday I took James to work, we got Starbucks (and a puppuccino) and saw the hot air balloons over Chatfield.

My friend Kelly and his daughter Keeda came over to visit for a bit. It was good to see them, Keeda kept Jack busy while we chatted. Later Jack was like, ‘Marley, this lap ain’t big enough for the both of us…’

Thursday Grace and I went to River run to tube. I managed to get a few scrapes when I slipped going to the top chute, but other than that – it was fun on a hot day.

Tomorrow James and I leave for GJ to swap cars with Bethany.

 

July Fourth weekend

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We started our day by going to the Paris street market, they had the booths spread out so it looked like there were more tents. Lots of cool junk to look at.

Then we dropped by Connections church to play a round of putt-putt. (We had Malia with us.) Jack went nuts when he saw the golf balls and twice he got close enough to grab at the ball and move it and once he had my golf ball in his mouth and I had to pry it out. We ended up with a 4 way tie (21) and James had 28.

James grilled a late lunch, we ate, I read, Grace chalked.

Then we put in an appearance at the neighborhood block party, I went and met my neighbor 2 doors down and then said I needed to leave because I’m having surgery and there were too many people there. The HR fireworks were canceled since we had 2 fires in the past week, but that didn’t stop the block party from popping off fireworks until 11pm. I told people to just look at pics of past fireworks – but it seems no one did.

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Image may contain: fireworks and night

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Image may contain: fireworks and night

Sunday I had a surprise at church, they made some permanent shade instead of having to put up and take down the tents each week. I think it’s a good improvement and gives some much needed shade for the back area.

From church – Reboot: trust

Where do we place our trust in difficult times is the wrong question – Who do we place our trust in and who are we relying on to get through difficult times?

Our natural tendency is to trust in what we can see. God will never ask you to pretend like everything is okay when it’s not. When things are not okay we need to be reminded of who we put our trust in and we need to exercise the spiritual habit of trusting God. Control what you can and let God handle the rest. Remember that things are stronger when they are broken – growth often happens under pressure.

Fear can make us less loving, it steals the ability to make good choices. Fear and anxiety spread from person to person faster than any virus, the antidote to fear is trust.
Are you weary and burdened? We see problems as an absence of God, but God is drawn to weary, broken, burdened people. Remember that a yoke seems heavy, but it doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Jesus is paired with you and with Him the yoke is easy, the load is shared.

Psalm 20 1-4 God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach, Send reinforcements from Holy Hill, Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies, Exclaim over your offerings, Celebrate your sacrifices, Give you what your heart desires, Accomplish your plans. 5 When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners. May all your wishes come true! 6 That clinches it—help’s coming, an answer’s on the way, everything’s going to work out. 7-8 See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we’re making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame—and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I went grocery shopping after church and had just enough time to sit for a bit before we headed out to the pet store and Stanley. Marley is staying with us for a week, he’s a good dog.

Jack is not used to sharing his bed though.

We had a nice shady spot to eat lunch and listen to David play with his other band (David Lawrence and the Spoonful.)

Then it was back home so James and Joel could go to the gun range. I read and gathered up my stuff I’m giving away at the park (school stuff, games, books, toys) and listened to my Nina Simone station. We had leftovers for dinner, sat on the porch for a bit and watched an episode of Godless.

Tips – make a grocery list (I love lists!) I make mine according to the layout of my King Soopers – Heaven help them if they ever remodel again. Clean out your fridge/pantry BEFORE you shop for the week (throw out leftovers, move things around, get rid of trash) this way when you get home you can quickly put away groceries. SHOP WITHOUT CHILDREN (if you can, call it Mommy time and have your husband watch the kids, it’s cheaper that way.)

Dinners this week – leftovers, tacos and elote corn, butternut squash lentil curry with brown rice, fettuccine alfredo with ham and peas on the side, BBQ pork sliders with coleslaw, pizza, out/grill

Butternut squash lentil curry

2 cups brown lentils
8 cups water
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tomatoes cored and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups peeled, cubed (1-inch), seeded butternut squash
2 each potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored and diced

(follow below for stove directions, otherwise soak lentils overnight and throw everything into a crockpot for 4-6 hours on low.)

Place the brown lentils in a pan with the water and turmeric. Cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Mix in the curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cloves. Add the cooked lentils, reserved cooking liquid, squash, potatoes, and carrots. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the spinach and apple. Cook until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve over rice.

Thursday/Friday

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Jack and I went to find the Roll it up Sushi truck, they have some good food and it’s been a while since I’ve had them.

Then we went for a walk by Clear creek. I knew the creek was closed to tubing, but I didn’t realize Golden decided that people can’t just follow signs (it’s true, we can’t.) So, because the 4th was coming up, they just blocked off every access to the creek and were postings signs all over.

And it was another fine evening for porch sitting.

Bethany was leaving for GJ, but then her car overheated again, so she came back and stayed another night then took off in James’ car (we’ll be going out next weekend with her car to switch.) She had me take some photos for her author page, this was the best one.

Friday James was off work, so it kept seeming like Saturday. Grace went with us to St. Vrain SP to picnic, birdwatch and walk around the pond. Once again, the pelicans came right to their own pond.

 

Tuesday/Wednesday

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Tuesday Grace and I went to Monument lake to kayak. But first, we went by the park to see if her art was still there. When we were leaving a Dad with a little girl came up to admire it and she laid down next to it so he could get a picture, that made Grace’s day.

It was very windy, I wonder if it’s always windy there…we got a great ab and leg workout. You don’t realize how many muscles it takes to paddle until you stop and get out and you’re like – why do my thighs and stomach hurt? Jack had fun (as usual) even with the choppy waves. We ate a picnic lunch there and then drove home where I went straight to bed for a nap.

I may have gotten a little ‘sun kissed’ because I was too lazy to put on sunscreen.

Tonight’s chalk art.

Also, it’s the last day of June and I walked every day (or did NIA/kayaking, but even on those days I still walked a bit.)

Wednesday I went to NIA and had a good workout, my hair was soaking wet after (again.) I came home and watched Jack while James and Bethany went to lunch and the girls were at the store. I had lunch, then nap time again. I don’t like being tired like this, to me napping is a waste of time, but I guess I need it.

I took Hannah to Parker to pick up her book from Explorers, that thing is thick!

Then back home to get ready for date night – live music, dinner and drinks at The Roxy. We had never been before, but Erik (from LAPOMPE) was playing, so we knew the music would be good. The sound isn’t great, the phone picked up a lot of noise around us, but you can still hear the music here and here. The food and drinks were very good, next time I want to try the falafel burger (we had the cheese and meat board and elote corn.)

We stopped by Englewood Grand on the way home because Phil was closed yesterday and didn’t know if he would reopen (per Gov. Polis’ new order), but he did open and we wanted to come support him.

Monday

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I have to write down what I eat for the nutritionist, it’s amazing how well I can eat when I have to write everything down.

NIA! I sat out 1 song, but danced the other 55 min – my hair was soaking wet at the end, gross.

I picked up my holds from the library – and good news – our library just opened up the inside!

After lunch at the park I took a nap and then went to Home Depot to get some plants. The front porch got a makeover, new pots and plants, new chairs (there was a bench there before), new wreath decorations and a hummingbird feeder.

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We listened to Live at Emmett’s place (jazz), had dinner and Grace did some chalk art at Marcy park.

Weekend

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I decided that today (Saturday) was a good day to go to Urgent care. I think my kidney is infected again (I was right) and I’d like some pain relief so my heart can have a break. The nurse was about to give up on her first try for an IV, but I told her to fish around and shove that needle deeper and it worked. One try for an IV, gold star for her!

I refused a scan (because I just had one on the 15th) and got my pain meds and an antibiotic. 2.5 hours later I was having brunch with James at The Lazy Dog. Jack loves the hamburgers there, but he never eats the rice and veggies (unless you hand feed him, but even then he gets to a point where he won’t eat them and just spits them out.)

James grilled for dinner, I had a nap and we sat on the porch for a bit.

Sunday I went to church, then we went to Stanley to hear LAPOMPE live! It was awesome, see them here and here and here. (I have short FB live recordings because my phone was dying.)

From church – Rebooting relationships

Social distancing has reminded us that we need other people in our lives and we need good, healthy relationships. Even introverts need people, they may have a smaller circle, but it’s still there. Why did God design us to need people? Because in our relationships we can glorify God, uplift others and shine as a light for the lost.
Heart of the Gospel – your relationship with Jesus has changed your relationship with God. We can’t have healthy relationships with others if we don’t have a good relationship with our Creator.
Healthy – urge each other to do good, urge each other to love others, encourage each other.
We need people who will draw us closer to God (not push us away), help us to hold on to the hope we profess (not speak discouraging words) and encourage us in everything we do (not hold us back and keep us from running forward.)
When life wears you down, you need people who will pick you up, not hold you back.

Hebrew 10:19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. 22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

I took a nap (that is becoming a daily occurence) and we went to River run to check on the water level – perfect for tubing.

Dinners starting tomorrow – chicken apple berry spinach couscous bowl, chicken creole over brown rice, pecan coconut tilapia with roasted squash, eat out, three cheese and ham/spinach quiche, turkey veggie meatloaf cups with salad, cook out.

Turkey veggie meatloaf cups

2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
½ cup uncooked couscous
1 egg
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup barbecue sauce, or as needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 20 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Place zucchini, onions, and red bell pepper into a food processor, and pulse several times until finely chopped but not liquefied. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and mix in ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard until thoroughly combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon of barbecue sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Internal temperature of a muffin measured by an instant-read meat thermometer should be at least 160 F. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Friday

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I ran some errands with Hannah and had lunch, then took a 2 hour nap. Some days now I wake up tired in the morning and just drag all day, today was one of those days. After my nap I ran over to get Jack’s meds and then took him on a walk so I could get that in. South Valley park.

Ned

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Grace and I went up to Nederland for a hike. Hannah had Malia over, so they hung out until M had to go to her guitar lesson. We picnicked by Boulder creek before the hike, it was nice.

Lots of wildflowers at Mud lake.

Jack was chasing pine cones, then carrying them around like a ball.

We stopped at the Train cafe for a drink.

The drive home was long, we got stuck in a line at tunnel 1, then after waiting for 30 minutes a car came by and said someone had flipped in the tunnel and it was totally shut down, so we turned around and backtracked – that added about 40 minutes to our drive home. I started on the peasant bread as soon as we got home and got the Shakshuka on the stove, it was really good. After dinner James and I sat on the porch with a libation.

Joel and friends get home tonight (he had gone to NY to help Chris move his stuff back here – Chris’ car broke down before they got out of NY, so Mike drove to get them with his truck to haul the trailer down here, so we have 2 extra people for bit.)

Wednesday

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Day 17 GirlTrek – It makes sense to us that God would plant the blueprint of rock ‘n’ roll into the soul of a little Black girl born in a town called Cotton Plant. Sister Rosetta Tharpe sang music that was infused with the melodies of Black folks who understood loss and survival. A child prodigy who was touring with her preacher mother and a troupe of evangelical musicians by the age of 6, Rosetta Tharpe dared to combine the sacred with the secular, mixing gospel music with rhythm and blues to create a rock ‘n’ roll sound that would change the world. But it is her life, not just her music that we will gather to talk about on today’s call. From this woman we learn about living authentically, taking risks, and understanding your value.

Have you strayed away from your church roots? If so, why?

Music is therapy. What’s your go-to song for surviving tough times?

So…..I’m in the surgery loop (which won’t happen until the end of July), in the meantime I have consults with: cardiology, anti-coagulation, pre-op and nutrition. I have an open invitation to get pain relief/IV hydration at Urgent care as needed (meaning if I can’t suck it up that day.) I threw the surgeon for a loop during the consult when she found out I have a vertical c-section scar and that’s where she’d make an incision – so she is going to carefully study my exact position of gallbladder and go with a laparoscopic approach (but, she warned, if there are any problems on the actual day they will switch to open surgery.) My cardiologist is probably going to up my BP meds to try to get that to come down, which will be nice and up the beta blockers to try to get the heart rhythm semi-normal before surgery. I will be off blood thinners 1 week before surgery and then get right back on them, so that risk is only slightly elevated.

So, prayers for me to suck it up until then and to get semi-normal heart function till then. I have a high pain tolerance, so when you see my hiking/walking/kayaking pics I’m doing it because I need to – even if it’s uncomfortable and I’m never alone (either I have people with me or Jack.)

Took Jack walking on the High Line canal trail at DeKoevend park, it was hot!

Is it Tuesday?

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I really like the way Lewis puts it here, that we are ‘adjectives’ instead of ‘nouns’; we are describing God by our lives.

  • They [Adam and Eve] wanted, as we say, to “call their souls their own.” But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. – From The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis

On self

  • A rejection, or in Scripture’s strong language, a crucifixion of the natural self is the passport to everlasting life. Nothing that has not died will be resurrected. – From The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

Don’t Get So Busy – Sisters in Faith

  • Martha was the responsible one. She was the one who made sure things were in order. She made sure Jesus was honored when He came to her home. She believed honoring Him meant the house must be clean, the food must be cooked, and the people must be served. There was so much she carried on her shoulders. Martha represents the busyness of this world, which can distract us from spending time with God. She had Jesus right in front of her; she was in His presence! But all she could see was serving and cleaning. When she complained that Mary was not doing her part, Jesus spoke to her and let her know that spending time with Him was honoring Him. Once she realized she couldn’t impress Him with superficial things, she learned to come to Jesus just as she was. She realized He only wanted her heart. Even when we are about the Master’s work, we have to take personal time to meet with Him and not let the external trappings keep us from saturating ourselves in the presence of God. (1, p.189, 190) – Excerpt from She Speaks: Wisdom from the Women of the Bible to the Modern Black Woman

Isaiah 40:31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Day 16 GirlTrek – Introducing Stagecoach Mary a.k.a. Mary Fields a.k.a. Black Mary.

At 60-years old she was the fastest person – man or woman – in the state of Montana to hitch a team of six horses to a coach. She was the first Black woman to earn a US Postal Service contract. She drove that team of horses for eight years, through rough and wild territories of the West. In the winter, the snow was so deep that she’d leave the horses behind and carry-on with the mail on her back. She never missed a day. Not a single day. She carried a shotgun to demand respect. She once got kicked out of a Catholic convent for using it. When the law banned women from drinking in saloons, she got an exception from the mayor.

“I fight through rainstorms…snowstorms …risk hurricanes and tornadoes. I like to be rough. I like to be rowdy. I also like to be loving …caring.” We are the daughters of hard and soft. …that edge hitting a soft breeze. We are electric. The storm of possibility. Like the clap of Juneteenth in the middle of global meltdown. Like the swirl and swagger of Mary Fields. “I do bold and exciting things.” she confessed.

Join us as we celebrate a larger than life woman. She’s known as the first African-American woman mail carrier in the United States. She was equal parts, high-society entrepreneur, and down-and-dirty gunslinger. Her legendary character has been celebrated on film, played by Esther Rolle, Dawnn Lewis, Kimberly Elise, and Erykah Badu. Let’s learn more about our hero and celebrate all of the frontline responders – who show up for us – day in and day out.

-What does a life of adventure look like for you?

-Mary Field had four distinct careers, if you could switch careers, what would you do?

-Where in your life can you turn the ordinary into the extraordinary?

-There is a Zen proverb that says “Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.” Mary was a gunslinger by day and caretaker by night. How do we continue to cultivate both so we can go ahead and vibrate out of this whack dimension?

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I’m getting my days mixed up. James and I had breakfast burritos at the park (a perk of working from home) while the girls went to Waffle House for a goodbye breakfast with Bethany. She’s headed back to GJ to get settled in her room. Hannah said that Waffle House in the morning was full of old people and it felt weird being there in the daylight (we usually go at 11pm.) I took Hannah to her ortho appointment, ran errands at some stores, had lunch, then went to the park to walk with James while Grace chalked.

I took a short nap, then Hannah and I went to get our hair cut, then to another store, then back home to finish up dinner. I got a reverse bob, shorter in the back, longer in the front. A bonus is that now you can see my earrings.

Hannah wanted some pics taken with her new haircut and outfit, so Grace took them at the park.

They saw a damselfly.

After dinner the girls watched Jack while James and I ran to Home Depot and Total Wine, then back home in time for Carson and wine. Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment with the surgeon, can’t wait to see when surgery will be.