Weekend

Saturday was the Women’s Christmas tea at church. The food and conversation was great. We listened to The Tale of Three Trees, I can’t even hear that story without crying. The takeaway was that the first and second trees wanted to hold treasure and be a great ship, but they ended up doing mundane things for their whole lives with one miraculous day where they held the Saviour. The third tree spent its whole life being tried and seasoned for a special task. If your life is hard, you are being seasoned to be stronger. If the world sees your life and admires you or if your life is just a footnote to the world, when you live for Jesus with your whole heart – He is honored and glorified.

We went to The Lost Cajun for an early dinner and then the girls and I went to the Lakewood lights.

I don’t know why I fall for the ‘roasted chestnuts’ every year. It sounds like a good idea, but they are just gross.

Sunday we went to church, grocery shopped, James painted the front door and we went for a walk.

Dinners – Beef stew (moved from yesterday), crockpot chicken stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs with eggplant parmesan, pineapple peach chicken with stuffed mushrooms and parmesan couscous, adobo sirloin with black beans and cilantro lime rice, crockpot pot roast, chicken tacos.

Adobo Sirloin

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers to taste
4 (8 ounce) beef sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir in chipotle peppers, and season to taste with adobo sauce.
Pierce the meat on both sides with a sharp knife, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a glass dish. Pour lime and chipotle sauce over meat, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat grill for high heat.
Lightly brush grill grate with oil. Place steaks on the grill, and discard marinade. Grill steaks for 6 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Our week – blood draw (yuck), school, Jack at day camp, Spot the elf in Lafayette, cheese shop lunch, HS group newbie chat, worship dance performance (just watching this year), Camp Christmas field trip, Cherry Hills lights, Fox theater field trip, youth group, Shibori at the library, HS skate, Reindeer games in CR, Jingle on the range a church, Santa pics at Petsmart, carriage rides at Southglenn, church, White elephant TDO.

Nutcracker and Repeal day

Photo booth from youth group last night.

I dropped Jack at puppy day camp and we went to the Colorado ballet’s Nutcracker. It was the first time we saw it with the Colorado ballet and the first time to see the whole thing (usually we see a abridged performance.)

Lunch at SAME cafe.

My new bracelet.

Then it was date night, David Lawrence from LAPOMPE was having a solo show for his new album at Ophelia’s. It was also Repeal day, so samples of prohibition whiskey and other drinks to celebrate.

Weekend

#famouswomen

Henrietta Lacks 1920-1951

Lab-grown human cells are invaluable to medical researchers. They allow scientists to better understand complex cells and theorize about diseases. The first “immortal” cell of its kind was created in 1951 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, its donor remaining unknown for years. But we now know that those cells belonged to Henrietta Lacks.

From southern Virginia, Henrietta was a black tobacco farmer who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 30. Without her knowing, her tumor was sampled and sent to scientists at Johns Hopkins. Much to the scientists’ surprise, her cells never died. Henrietta’s immortal cells were integral in developing the polio vaccine, and were used for cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization.

For decades, the donor of these cells, which were code-named HeLa, remained anonymous. In the 1970s, Henrietta’s name was revealed and the origins of HeLa, a code for the first two letters in Henrietta and Lacks, became clear. While Henrietta Lacks may no longer be with us, her contribution to science is long lasting.

Saturday was busy. Bethany was in, Grace and Hannah had a lunch date Jack was supposed to decorate a cookie at Petsmart but then….we had to go to urgent care for me. I was dizzy but also when I would stand up my arms and legs would shake. This was worrying, I was hoping I wasn’t allergic to my new blood thinner. Turns out it (along with my other meds) was pushing my BP too low. I was 80/42 and apparently when you are that low your body shakes to get the blood flowing. I made it out of there while the sun was still shining, so we walked at the park.

#famouswomen

Edmonia Lewis 1843-1907

Little is known about the early life of mid-19th century sculptor Edmonia Lewis, but she was reportedly born on July 14, 1843–although that is up for debate as well. Lewis is considered the first woman sculptor of African American and Native American heritage.

She began her education in 1859 at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she was said to have been quite artistic, particularly in drawing. During her undergraduate years, she changed her name to Mary Edmonia, which she had been using anyway to sign her sculptures. While at Oberlin, Lewis was wrongly accused of theft and attempted murder. Though she was eventually acquitted, she was prohibited from graduating.
When she moved to Boston, she was mentored by sculptor Edward Brackett and began to develop her own artistic style. Her dual ancestry proved to be a source of much inspiration for her, as her early sculptures were medallions with portraits of white abolitionists and Civil War heroes.

“Forever Free” (1867), one of her best-known works, drew from the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1876, Lewis completed what is considered by many to be the pinnacle of her career: “The Death of Cleopatra”. This sculpture went against artistic traditions of the time by portraying a realistic illustration of the event, instead of using a sentimental manner.

Notes from church:

-When we sow seeds of generosity we reap the benefit of a generous life.
-Don’t slip into fearful thinking with a scarcity mindset.
-The antidote to fear – practice gratitude.
-The opposite of gratefulness is envy.


Goings on this week – no school, NIA!, blood draw, DMNS teen movie night, Riize volunteer, orthodontist, Walk2Connect, Thanksgiving, Union station Crawford hotel stay, Union station lighting, Christkindl market, Larimer square market, Englewood market, church, last day of Harriet hikes, working at church.

Dinners this week – something on Pearl st mall, make your own pizza, chicken tikka masala with rice and snap peas, chili and cornbread, Thanksgiving (smoked turkey, brown rice chutney, sweet potato salad, honey chili brussel sprouts, Italian sausage cornbread stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies), dinner at Union station, leftovers.
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Sweet Potato Salad

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt + optional pepper
3 tbsp oil, or spray
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans
1 cup can corn
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Toss sweet potatoes and onions with 1 1/2 tbsp oil (or spray), sprinkle with salt and optional pepper, and place in one layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in a non-preheated oven on the center rack, then turn the oven to 450 F. Bake 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl, then toss with the sweet potatoes. Serve hot or cold
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Cilantro Mint Chutney Recipe

½ cup yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch cilantro, tender stems ok
1 cup mint leaves, packed ( 2 x .75 ounce packages)
1 medium jalapeno, sliced
2 teaspoons sliced ginger
1 garlic clove
¼–1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,
½ teaspoon sugar (or an alternative like honey, palm sugar, etc)
optional: 1 tablespoon water, or just enough to get blender going – you may not need this

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and lemon.
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Brown rice chutney

1/4 C baby spinach
1 C cauliflower florets
2 C brown rice (cooked)
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 C apricot preserves
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 small package sliced almonds

Cook rice, roast cauliflower. Add all ingredients in dish and stir. Add above cilantro mint chutney and serve warm.

Weekend

#famouswomen

Hedy Lamarr – born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler 1914-2000

The Hollywood actress was an avid inventor and the person behind advances in communication technology in the 1940s that led to today’s Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Like many famous stars of her day, she had a relationship with aerospace pioneer Howard Hughes. According to Dean’s film, it was more cerebral than romantic — she helped him streamline his aircraft design. In rare, long-lost cassette tapes from the 1990s, Lamarr describes her contributions to aerospace engineering: “I thought the aeroplanes were too slow. I decided that’s not right. They shouldn’t be square, the wings. So I bought a book of fish, and I bought a book of birds, and then used the fastest bird, connected it with the fastest fish. And I drew it together and showed it to Howard Hughes and then he said, ‘You’re a genius.’”Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, She was a famous Hollywood star who would finish performing on set with Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, and Spencer Tracy, and then go back to her trailer and work on her inventions.

Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. The international beauty icon developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Nazis in World War II. The brilliant idea was called frequency hopping: a way of jumping around on radio frequencies in order to avoid a third party jamming your signal. Lamarr invented it in the 1940s for use as a secret wartime communication system that could keep the enemy from interfering with a ship’s torpedoes. She got a patent for it in August 1942, and then donated it to the U.S. military to help fight the Nazis. “When she gave it to them, [the Navy] said, ‘What do you want to do, put a player piano inside a torpedo? Get out of here!’ And so they didn’t use it during the Second World War. It was after the Second World War that it emerged as a way of secretly communicating on all the gadgets that we use today,” Dean explained.

By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel. The enormous significance of the invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the “spread spectrum” technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.

Saturday we had plans, Dim Sum! We got there right at 10am and were in the back of the line, but we made it into the first seating.

We ran errands, went by the library, put up a shelf, got a new headlight and the girls and I went to a free concert – The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket.

James and I walked with Jack at Marcy park for a Harriet hike. My knees felt awesome!

Sunday –

#famouswomen
Sybil Ludington 1761-1839

A young American patriot, Sybil Ludington was just 16 years old when she made a night-time ride rallying Patriot soldiers.

Born in New York in 1761, Ludington was the eldest of Henry and Abigail’s twelve children. In addition to working as a farmer, Ludington’s father was a gristmill owner who served in the military for over sixty years, including during the French and Indian War. He was loyal to the British crown until 1773, when he switched sides and joined the Patriots in the American Revolution.

On April 26, 1777, Colonel Ludington received word from a rider that the nearby town of Danbury was under attack by British troops and needed help. At the time, Ludington’s regiment had disbanded for planting season, and his men were miles apart at their respective farms. With the rider too tired to continue and Colonel Ludington focused on preparing for battle, young Sybil rose to the cause. She rode all night through dark woods and in the rain, covering anywhere from 20 to 40 miles (estimates vary). By the time she returned home, hundreds of soldiers were gathering to fight the British. She was thanked by General George Washington himself, but it wasn’t until 1935 when a statue was erected in her honor that she was publicly recognized.

We went to church, Hannah worked the coffee shop, while I sat in on the next giving sermon. James grilled for lunch and Jack got a tiny cheeseburger.

Our Harriet hike today was from Belleview park to the dog park and back.

We watched some TV, made a post office run and saw this amazing sunset.

Things this week – CT scan, school, St. John’s music at noon, Pixar field trip, Union station jazz date night, Creativity club, Pupsgiving doggy day camp, youth group, RiNo pop-up field trip, TNO, HS skate, ortho, Sam’s going away at EG, ?, working at Riize and church.

Dinners this week – leftovers, navy beans and sausage with rye bread, date night (TV dinners for kids), cheese and tomato lasagna and salad, TNO (tamales for me, potstickers for kids), basil chicken with parmesan vermicelli and artichokes, meatloaf and smashed potatoes.

Smashed potatoes

24 ounces Dutch yellow baby potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain well.
Place potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a potato masher or fork, carefully smash the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece. Top with olive oil, garlic and thyme. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Serve immediately.

 

Trunk or Treat, SNOW, Opera, Halloween, Harriet hikes, weekend

Sunday was Trunk or Treat at church, snow had started falling, so they made the decision to have it indoors. Jack went as a dinosaur and the girls were helping with the kids games.

Jack ended up sleeping on my lap for almost the whole time. James was settled in Vegas by this time, getting ready for the start of his conference. It started to snow, so after getting some groceries we stayed in for the night.

Goings on – James at conference, school, shovel snow…repeat, Fox theater DOTD show, Barber of Seville opera, youth group, Halloween party, Harriet hike co-op, art walk, Night at the Museums, church, working at church.

Dinners this week – Mac and cheese with chipotle chicken sausage, beef taco soup, grilled cheese and tomato soup, sushi and dumplings, chicken fajitas, tikka masala meatballs with fried garbanzo beans, grilling stuff.

Monday morning, I heard the traffic was horrible. Lots of wrecks, icy streets, we stayed home.

We got Jack’s photos in from the pet parade, this one is cute.

This one, not so much.

This one is mine!

Jack had a lazy snow day.

We didn’t get the amount of snow that they thought, only 4 inches or so. But, another round of snow was coming on Tuesday/Wed. It came earlier than people thought, so some schools started the day on time, but ended early. Some schools took a snow day and CDOT was telling people that if they could leave work early (or not come into work at all), this was the day to do it. We had nowhere to be, so we just chilled at home.

We ended up with a few more inches, so maybe 7 total. Wednesday was our DOTD show, but I had stayed up watching the news and Aurora and Denver both called a snow day for Wednesday, so I knew the show would be canceled – it was.

Hannah was aching to get out, so we went to the mall. Youth group was canceled, and I was wondering if the Opera would be too – but it wasn’t.

Barber of Seville was amazing. The singing, the acting, the set and costumes – brilliant. Our student matinee seats were $12/15 and I looked up the price of our seats for the next show, $225 each – who can afford that?!

Thursday we did school and went to the library for a Halloween party. The girls trick or treated with M at night and we went to the Mansion for last stop.

Friday was my Harriet Tubman co-op and the first day of Harriet hikes (Girl Trek and Walk2Connect are doing 30 days of Harriet hikes to promote the movie.) We read 2 books about Harriet, watched a video, listened to a song and did some worksheet activities. We talked about slavery, the North and South, the Underground Railroad, Talking quilts, codes and the things that Harriet Tubman did that she’s not really know for like – Union spy, a leader of an Army mission to free 700 slaves, a nurse, and a suffragist among other things. After eating some hoe cakes we went outside in the cloudy 34 degree weather and walked around the lake. This story is about the awesome trek some of the GT people made walking in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman.
https://ideas.ted.com/what-we-learned-from-walking-in-the-…/

I’m also going to be posting each day of the month about women that you should know, some of them may be familiar (like Harriet Tubman), some may have done great things – but you never heard of them.

My knees were frozen, so they didn’t hurt until late when I thawed out. We went home and Hannah went to a birthday party, Bethany had come home to visit and Grace and I gathered stuff for the Art Walk. It was only getting colder as we set up a table and Grace put her stuff on it. We got a square so it would be easier to sell things, because no one has cash anymore. She sold two mini-canvases before James showed up. Jack was wrapped up in my coat and falling asleep, but then woke up when he heard James. We grabbed some dinner from the food trucks and braved the cold for a bit longer before heading home.

Saturday -I wasn’t going to do Mrs. Ford today, but it’s appropriate because tonight is Denver’s Night at the Museums and if you haven’t been to the Black American West museum, it’s free tonight. Also, there was a tidbit in the news about her house (the museum.)

Justina Ford: Denver’s First Female African American Doctor

Justina Laurena Warren was born on January 22, 1871 in Knoxville, Illinois. Justina’s love for medicine was clear at a young age; she often dissected frogs and followed her mother, a nurse, when she saw patients. Justina went to Hering Medical School in Chicago. She married John Ford, a Baptist minister, in 1892. She continued her studies and graduated from medical school in 1899.

After her graduation, Justina was denied her medical license. The license examiner told her, “I feel dishonest taking a fee from you. You’ve got two strikes against you to begin with. First of all, you’re a lady, and second, you’re colored.” When she and John moved to Denver, racial discrimination prohibited Ford from joining the Colorado Medical Association or practicing in a hospital. So, she set up a practice in her home at 2335 Arapahoe Street.

Justina treated anyone who needed medical care, regardless of race, gender, language, citizenship, or ability to pay. Many of her patients were poor whites, African-Americans, and non-English speaking immigrants who were turned away from hospitals. Ford learned multiple languages to help treat her patients. Her patients paid her in goods, services, or money. It wasn’t until 1950 that Dr. Ford was allowed into the Colorado and American Medical Associations. Even then, she was the only female African-American doctor in all of Denver. Ford continued caring for patients until two weeks before her death on October 14, 1952. By the end of her life she had delivered almost 7,000 babies. Dr. Justina Ford’s house is now the home of the Black American West Museum.

We went to Casa Bonita for lunch and it occured to me that Casa Bonita and I will both turn 50 in just over 3 years. I had my 40th b-day party at Chuck E Cheese’s, so Casa Bonita would be a step up (I think.)

Sunday Hannah was so excited to bring her coffee painting to church (and to work at the coffee shop) that she and Bethany walked there, early, like super early, like no one was at the church early. So, James went and picked them up and they had coffee at Starbucks. Later, I took Hannah back to church and she made me a ghostly peppermint latte.

Phil was preaching on being generous.

Famous woman of the day – Wu Zetian – born 624 BC

She was the only female emperor in Chinese history. She used every ounce of her political skills and pulled Machiavellian maneuvers to gain and maintain her power. In dynastic China, Confucius deemed women unfit to rule. Nevertheless, Wu Zetian rose through the ranks in Chinese society. Wu’s intellect and beauty attracted Emperor Tai Tsung, who recruited her to his court as his concubine. After the emperor’s death, his son Kao Tsung succeeded him. Kao Tsung had been having an affair with Wu even before the death of his father. She became his second wife—a large step up from concubine—after his ascension.

Emperor Kao Tsung later died from a stroke, and Empress Wu began administrative duties in the court, eliminating and spying on those who posed an obstacle to her, and putting her youngest son into power. When her son stepped down in 690, Wu was crowned emperor of China. As emperor, Wu truly did effect change in China. She gave government positions to qualified scholars, reduced the army’s size, lowered unfair taxes on peasants, and increased agricultural production.

Bethany and Grace went to lunch by themselves, so James, Hannah and I went to Shake Shack. Back at home we watched some TV, went grocery shopping and James and I got out to my Harriet hike at Fly’n B park.

Dinners this week – rosemary pan fried chicken and risotto, beef stew, chicken quesadilla, cheeseburger macaroni, cheesy chicken and rice casserole, chinese chicken soup, black beans and sausage. (Chicken was on sale.)

Chinese Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons chile paste
1 pound chopped cooked chicken breast
1 quart chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped celery
1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles (or egg noddles or any quick cook noodle)
1/2 cup chopped green onion

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook turmeric, ginger and chile paste in oil until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, broth, sugar, soy sauce and celery. Bring to a boil, then introduce noodles and cook until noodles are done. Serve garnished with green onions.

Goings on this week – school, taxonomy co-op at the zoo, HS skate, AF Planetarium field trip, Garden of the gods hike, Parker Police Explorers, GV ride-along (Hannah), youth group, CBI forensic field trip, dentist, Riize coffee shop, Mountainview coffee shop, church, HR concert band concert.

 

Sunday

After church we went to a car show that was in the area.

The week – school, water sampling, co-op at Eco park, volunteering at GraceFull (Hannah), working at church (Grace), jazz at EG, mall school, youth group, ballet (we’re standby, fingers crossed), hike, first Friday art walk, Shakespeare in the parking lot, church.

Dinners this week – shepherd’s pie, mango chicken wraps with cauliflower risotto, chili and cornbread, mushroom and onion pan burgers with smashed potatoes, orange chicken with fried rice, beef stew with drop biscuits, sausage and pasta.

Skinny Orange Chicken

1 pound boneless chicken breast, cubed
¼ cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs, or as needed
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.

Press chicken cubes gently into flour to coat and shake off excess flour. Dip into beaten egg and press into panko bread crumbs. Place the breaded chicken cubes in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Whisk soy sauce, honey, orange juice, cornstarch, garlic powder, and ginger together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken cubes from the oven and place in a large bowl. Pour orange sauce over chicken and turn in the sauce to coat.

Long weekend

Saturday we headed to the Air Force Academy chapel to see it before it closes for renovation (for 4 years.) We hadn’t been in there in a long time and I’m not James ever saw it at all, so it was good timing. This building is new since the last time we were there and we found out the planetarium reopened (and it’s free!)

The plane plaza.

We had lunch at Ivywild food hall, it was a school that went out of business, then a brewery moved in, then another food place, a few craft places and they use the gym for live music and dancing.

Sunday was family weekend at church, Phil gave a great talk about being the person you want your children to listen to, follow and look to. If you aren’t reading your Bible, praying, thinking about God first, how can you expect your children to do the same? After lunch we went to check out the new LM ice cream factory, as soon as they get the slide fixed I’m making a tour.

Monday was Labor day, so James and I had a casual coffee at Legends and the walked around the outdoor mall at Southlands.

The girls wanted to go to the mall, so we dropped them off there and chilled at home. I finished up some reading and then we all went to Golden to swim in the creek. Of course, everyone else had the same idea too….

James grilled hamburgers for dinner and we watched Fool Us with Penn and Teller before bed. That was a long weekend, but a good one.