Category Archives: family outing



Saturday Bethany came home, took the girls to Chipotle for lunch, then they all walked to Target. James and I went to Castlewood canyon to hike to the dam. We started at the observation deck, then went to the Lake gulch trailhead.

It was pretty smoky from the Montana fires, not that you can tell in the pictures.

We crossed the creek and saw the dam – or what’s left of it. The dam was built in 1890 and lasted until 1933 when it broke and flooded Denver (Denver’s second worst flood.)

We went down to the creek bottom trail to get a better look.

We had to go up on the way back (since it was downhill all the way), but it wasn’t too bad. We went to Saltgrass for lunch and had some Royal crown and coke slushies that were very good. Back at home we rested and watched Ace in the Hole. I forget where I read about this movie, probably one of the books I’m reading, but it was a good movie about media, ethics and how human interest stories are made.

Image result for ace in the hole movie

Cat logic.

After dinner we took the girls to LM’s for Swinging Saturday. There was a nice sunset on the way.

We had 3 pumpkin chai ice creams and 1 oreo.

FB live video of the music and dancing here. 

Sunday we went to church (Daniel in the Lion’s den), had lunch at home and then took James to the chutes. He tubed for a bit, then spent the next 2 hours jumping in with us. The water was at 121 CFS and 57 degrees, but it was 92 out, so it felt great. Hannah was posing.

After we got home and cleaned up we Facetimed with Joel and had BBQ ribs for dinner. Joel played some music for us on his guitar and violin, talked about an upcoming PT test, drills and showed us his room (he redecorated.) One cool thing he did was he covered a whole wall in Army sheet music. After we hung up with him we watched a Blake and Father Brown, the girls had a friend come over and she stayed late (since she didn’t have school on Monday.)

The week – school, picnic, hike, Louise Penny at LT (just me), NIA, Penn and Teller, Blue man group, Park Hill walking tour, Homeschool group’s 15th anniversary party, church and our church’s 25th anniversary picnic.

Dinners this week – grill night, garlic lime chicken, pulled pork BBQ, Vegas, Vegas, breakfast for dinner, 15th anniversary party cookout, 25th church anniversary picnic.

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

3/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.


Corn Roast


We drove up to Loveland for the corn roast fest, it was hot!

That corn was really good though….

Festival food….

We stopped for cheese on the way home.

I made stroganoff for dinner and we watched a show, that was about it.

Dinners coming up this week (starting on Monday) – pork chop suey, tacos, chicken tikka and naan, brown butter tilapia, pizza, grilling stuff.

Pork Chop Suey

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth 
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 (16 ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 medium onion, slivered
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cups mung bean sprouts
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Combine broth, soy sauce, molasses and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl; stir in cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the pink is gone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, sprouts and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add the reserved cornstarch mixture and pork (and any accumulated juice) and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Serve over noodles.

The week – park day, tubing in chutes, water sampling, chamber music, secret hiking spot, jazz at Phil’s, doodle bots at library, NIA, youth group, pond swimming, jazz at la Fromage, co-op registration, school, don’t know what for the weekend…..yet.



We had a great weekend. It was full of some family time – going to eat lunch in Lowry at North County and having LM ice cream at Rocket Ice Cream. We had brunch items at NC and we’ll be going back for their drinks and to try the tacos. The skillet was great, the churros were amazing, Bethany said her quinoa bowl was the best ever and Grace had stuffed French toast and since there was none left – it was also good. They have a cute space, nice patio and coastal CA/Mex Baja food.

What can I say about Rocket Ice Cream….it’s got jets that spurt out a water mist that makes it look like the rocket is taking off, also their ice cream is all LM, so it’s good.

Then we spent some time at home, reading and watching TV. Before dinner we went over to 7-11 for BYOC Slurpee day. I got a 1/2 gallon of cherry on top and mango chile on the bottom.

After dinner James and I went to the park to hear the jazz band Swing Shift. I ended up dumping the last of the Slurpee into a glass and adding Deep Eddy vodka – not bad!

Sunday I went to church, I thought we had to work, but that’s next weekend. James mowed and I read, then we asked the girls if they wanted to go on a drive with us. Nope. So James and I headed to Old Colorado City and had lunch at an Irish pub called Alchemy. There was a car show going on up and down the street, so after Irish onion soup, beer and cheese soup and undone pretzels we headed out to look.

We went over to Garden of the gods for a hike.

We went by the store on the way home, got burgers and brats to grill and watched The Hunt for Red October during dinner.

The week – co-op postings start, eclipse part at the library, park day, swimming in the chutes, water sampling, NIA, spa day, hikety-hike, corn roast fest, church and working in the 4’s rooms at church….I feel like I’m forgetting something – oh yeah, and we ‘start school’ this week.

Dinners – (starting M) – beans and sausage with foccacia bread (we didn’t have it last week), chicken maffe, beef tip stroganoff, chicken and sausage gumbo, herbed butter salmon.

Focaccia bread

1 tablespoon honey
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
5 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Dissolve honey in the warm water in a large bowl, then sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to foam. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions, and 5 cups of flour until the dough comes together. Knead on a well floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.

Place dough onto oiled baking sheet, and flatten to cover the whole sheet evenly. Use the tips of your fingers to make indentations all over the dough spaced about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the focaccia with 3 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon of kosher salt over the top. Let rise for 10 minutes
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes until golden brown.


Chicken Maffe

4 lb chicken pieces, such as thighs, legs or breasts
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Spice Rub:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced shallot
1 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to taste

Peanut Sauce:
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp finely diced and seeded jalapeño pepper
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I’m using almond butter)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup coconut milk (I’m using almond milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Stir together the ‘Spice Rub’ ingredients and rub onto the chicken pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken in batches and brown on all sides, then transfer to a platter or bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, onion, bell peppers, carrot, garlic and jalapeno to the pan, then cook about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Add the chicken broth and simmer about 20 minutes uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the remaining sauce ingredients, and simmer for two minutes. Return the browned chicken to the skillet and cook 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickens. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over rice.

You can also brown the chicken and dump everything into the crockpot for 4-6 hours.


Pueblo trip


After meeting up with a HS group board member (so she could show me how to navigate the boards for co-op for the upcoming week) we headed to Pueblo.

We were going to swim, but the weather called for cooler and rain, so we headed south where it was nice and sunny. First stop was Bingo Burger – it was so good. My burger had onion, tomato, patty, fried egg, green chile, bacon, cheese and I put some lemon rosemary aioli on it too. The burgers were huge and the dipping sauces for the fries and sweet potato fries were probably all good, but we tried: cranberry BBQ (nice and sweet), lemon rosemary aioli (tangy and savory) and curry ketchup (it tasted like Sherpa House!) Their malts and shakes were good too, I thought the malt was better.

Then we headed over to the Buell children’s museum.

The girls said they were too old for it, then went over to the sand pit to play.

You get into both the Buell and the Sangre de Cristo museum with admission, the stuff I really wanted to see was over there, but we started in the Buell just because.

Then we went next door and saw the Rembrandt etchings. Except for the religious prints, the etchings were small, maybe a few inches high ands wide, such detail in such a small space.

This is a blown up image of one of the tiny prints.

Outside this gallery were linoleum prints and tiled prints from Ramona Lapsley.

In another room wonderful examples of Mexican folk embroidery.

In this gallery there were lots of ‘Hey, we’ve seen that’ from the girls. The printed art of Gene Kloss. We saw a lot of San Francisco sites and a few from New Mexico.

Out in the hall were Tom Taylor gouache prints.

The last gallery was I think the coolest (although those Rembrandt’s were old, but the brass plates that these rubbings came from were older.) Brass rubbing is kind of like what people do here (when the cemetary person is not watching) and we rub gravestones. But, they aren’t stone, they are brass (which is better anyway.)

This brass plate was from the 1400’s.

More on brass rubbing here. 

We left the museum and went to the River walk to take a quick stroll. They had the gondolas out on the water instead of the regular boats.

Our final stop was the Nature and Raptor center. They must have been able to release the two bald eagles and an owl, they weren’t there. But, they did have a screech owl, Guffey (a great horned owl), three golden eagles, two vultures, some falcons, some hawks and another owl.

At the nature center we sat by the water for a bit, then went in the cafe to get a boba drink.

The squirrels were driving the cafe lady crazy, they were eating off plates, then they ran in the door and were headed into the kitchen! They didn’t care when she sprayed them with vinegar, they just kept coming.

We got home, I cooked dinner and we watched a Father Brown.

The week so far


Monday – the dentist went well for all (except for Hannah, one surface cavity that will be filled on Friday.) It rained all the way to Sweet Cooie’s so the art camp was inside. Today was cubism, we decided to work on one canvas (Bethany just sat and ate ice cream.)

It was still raining, so I cancelled park day and we went to Pho for lunch. We stopped by the library where the librarian was nice enough to waive some fines…..very nice. I ran some errands after we got home, looks like the wild turkeys are moving in from Lone Tree….

We potted some plants in some of the whale planters that Gwen gave Grace.

Tuesday was nice and pretty, perfect for the MOA, lunch and shopping on Broadway. The MOA has a temporary (well, all their exhibits are temporary, but this one is very short) exhibit by the design and build teams from the Summer.

Lunch was Cafe’ 180, I had an adult grilled cheese, spinach salad and potato soup.

I could not believe that Hannah ate her entire turkey wrap – it was huge.

We walked down the shops on Broadway, first going into the book store.

Hannah had picked out a science book and Grace got a cook book. Hannah wanted this other book, a cheesy mystery (literally, it’s about pizza), and I said no – then the lady behind the counter said it was buy 2 get 1 free for all the books. Hannah grinned and ran back to grab the book. I like that ReNew is now individual art shops selling crafts, art and more (even if I can’t afford anything there now.)

We looked in the Army surplus store (Hannah wants to dress up as a soldier) but we didn’t find anything used. We got a few small items at the bead shop, then we headed home right as some rain started up.

Back at home I made banana bread and peasant bread for the stew, the stew was….interesting. One ingredient was coffee and I think I added too much of that.

Today we’re heading out in a bit to watch some $1 movies at the theater. I cleaned up three cabinets in the kitchen (and found my canning jars) and finished up 2 books.



We’ve lived here 12 years and until today, we had never been to the Mile Hi Flea Market. Never. So, we went and the girls found a treasure trove of LPS stuff (including 2 that are currently going for $50 each on Ebay.) I found the most delicious mangoes, ever. We got Bethany a dress and yoga pants and we got some sugared fruit that was all sugar and no fruit. Still, it was an interesting trip.

I took Hannah to the mall to meet up with a friend, they spent an hour walking around and chatting, then we headed home. Now we’re in for the night.

Pond swimming and kitten therapy


I got new tubes and mine is almost non-flippable. I say ‘almost’ because as I was calming floating in the middle of the pond, shirt over my head to keep off the sun, Hannah and Grace tag teamed to flip me out. It took some shaking, but eventually I went over. That’s why I wish friends would come and swim with us, then I could float by myself and not do flipping contests, diving contests, clam finding contests….etc.

After cleaning up at home we went by the $1 store to get stuff, then we headed to RiNo for kitten therapy. Usually we go to the Santa Fe art walk on First Fridays, but…..kittens. Just so you know, the RiNo HQ only did kitten therapy this month, next month it’s something else.

Oh, we really, really really wanted this black and white one named Sabrina and I was in love with Rob Zombie (he was dead, they brought him back to life, he’s got some sight issues.)

I don’t often whine about puppies or kittens, but I really wanted him.

So sad. We had dinner at The Preservery and it was all good. We didn’t do dessert (but we’re coming back just for the boozy ice cream…)

We looked at a few places, the girls were tired, we went home.