Spot the Elf, Worship dance

After some school and dropping Jack at puppy daycare we headed up to Lafayette. Every year local businesses there have a spot the elf month. You get a book and go to the store, use the clue to spot the elf, then get your booklet stamped. Once again the Antique/flea market was the hardest (because it’s so big.)

Pet store.

Bank.

Antique store.

Some stuff in one antique store.

Cool restored mural.

Chocolate shop.

Jewelry store.

Antique/Flea market, I found Santa, Anna and Elsa and Elvis.

Lunch at the cheese shop.

We got home, did a bit more school, went to the coffee shop, made dinner and went to watch the Worship dance performance, it was wonderful.

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.

Friday

I took James to work and Jack and I stopped on the way home to walk. The ice crystals were very pretty.

We did some school then headed over to the K12 office for a Winter social, making gingerbread houses and other holiday fun.

We headed back home to catch the Highlands Ranch hometown holiday tree lighting. Our tree looks like a Charlie Brown tree, just bigger.

Union Station and the weekend

#famouswomen #famousmamas

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815—1902) was a leader in the women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements, all while raising her seven children. She worked with Susan B. Anthony to establish the National Woman Suffrage Association, successfully helping to get women the right to vote via the 19th Amendment. In addition to writing articles and giving speeches on the topic of universal suffrage, Stanton supported education for girls, and her own daughters went to college at Vassar and Columbia.

NANCY EDISON
The youngest of Nancy Edison’s seven kids was Thomas Alva Edison. Although some stories about his mother’s virtues were most likely exaggerated, we do know that rather than give up on his education, Nancy Edison decided to homeschool her son after his teacher deemed him “addled” (i.e. mentally ill or incompetent). Edison, who may just have been dyslexic in a time before that learning disorder was studied or understood, said of her: “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”

ALBERTA KING
The mother of Martin Luther King, Jr., Alberta Williams King (1904—1974) played the organ and founded the choir at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and she was also involved with women’s groups, the NAACP, and the YWCA. She set about to raise her three children with a healthy sense of self-respect and taught them that the segregation they saw every day was simply “a social condition rather than a natural order,” as MLK Jr. wrote in his autobiography. “She made it clear that she opposed this system and that I must never allow it to make me feel inferior. … At this time Mother had no idea that the little boy in her arms would years later be involved in a struggle against the system she was speaking of.” In 1974, six years after her son was assassinated in Memphis, Alberta King was shot and killed at her organ at her church.

INDIRA GANDHI
As India’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi (1917—1984) worked to institute democracy and create jobs to combat food shortages—she was responsible for India’s green revolution, which made the country self-sufficient and no longer reliant on imported grains. “Education is a liberating force, and in our age it is also a democratizing force, cutting across the barriers of caste and class, smoothing out inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances,” she famously stated. She also entrusted a sense of duty in her two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi, who both grew up to become politicians; Rajiv became Prime Minister of India after his mother was assassinated in 1984.

LOU XIAOYING
Lou Xioaying was a poor, uneducated woman who supported herself by scavenging through the trash in Jinhua, China, but starting in 1972, she adopted or rescued 30 babies she found in the trash. The chaos of the Cultural Revolution (and later China’s one-child policy), and extreme poverty, especially in rural areas, meant that some parents dumped their unwanted babies in the garbage. “These children need love and care. They are all precious human lives,” Xioaying, who had one biological daughter at the time she began rescuing infants, told the press in 2012. “I do not understand how people can leave such a vulnerable baby on the streets.”

James had the grand idea to stay at the Crawford hotel in Union Station the day after Thanksgiving. We ran some morning errands, then drove downtown. We checked into our rooms and then had lunch. It was pretty busy inside and pretty cold outside.

The girls went to the Christkindl market and James and I went on a Harriet hike/Allen True mural scavenger hunt. First up, the murals outside of the Mountain States Telegraph and Telephone building.

Then we backtracked to the Renaissance hotel, formerly the Colorado National Bank, for the ‘Indian’ series.

Then finally to the Brown Palace hotel for the last set of murals (there are more locations with them, I just wanted to do 3.)

It was almost time for the tree  and building lighting when we got back to the hotel. We listened to the bell ringers (Here), then went outside to hear some songs (Here.)

It was really cold (and my back hurt from standing), so we went back inside to warm up. When the actual lighting was going to occur Bethay, James and I went back out. The girls and Jack watched from their window. See the countdown here. 

James and I had a nightcap in the bar and the girls ordered dinner to the room.

Saturday –

#famouswomen #famousdenverite

Sarah Breedlove 1867-1919

Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana. Her parents, Owen and Minerva, were recently freed slaves, and Sarah, who was their fifth child, was the first in her family to be free-born. Minerva Breedlove died in 1874 and Owen passed away the following year, both due to unknown causes, leaving Sarah an orphan at the age of seven. After her parents’ passing, Sarah was sent to live with her sister, Louvinia, and her brother-in-law. The three moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1877, where Sarah picked cotton and was likely employed doing household work, although no documentation exists verifying her employment at the time.

At age 14, to escape both her oppressive working environment and the frequent mistreatment she endured at the hands of her brother-in-law, Sarah married a man named Moses McWilliams. On June 6, 1885, Sarah gave birth to a daughter, A’Lelia. When Moses died two years later, Sarah and A’Lelia moved to St. Louis, where Sarah’s brothers had established themselves as barbers. There, Sarah found work as a washerwoman, earning $1.50 a day — enough to send her daughter to the city’s public schools. She also attended public night school whenever she could.

While in St. Louis, Breedlove met her second husband Charles J. Walker, who worked in advertising and would later help promote her hair care business.
During the 1890s, Sarah Breedlove developed a scalp disorder that caused
her to lose much of her hair, and she began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her condition. In 1905, Breedlove was hired as a commission agent by Annie Turnbo Malone — a successful, black, hair-care product entrepreneur — and she moved to Denver, Colorado. While there, Breedlove’s husband Charles helped her create advertisements for a hair care treatment for African Americans that she was perfecting. Her husband also encouraged her to use the more recognizable name “Madam C.J. Walker,” by which she was thereafter known.

In 1907 Walker and her husband traveled around the South and Southeast promoting her products and giving lecture demonstrations of her “Walker Method” — involving her own formula for pomade, brushing and the use of heated combs.As profits continued to grow, in 1908 Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh, and by 1910, when Walker transferred her business operations to Indianapolis, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company had become wildly successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars.

A relentless innovator, Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African Americans. In 1913, Walker and Charles divorced, and she traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean promoting her business and recruiting others to teach her hair care methods. While her mother traveled, A’Lelia Walker helped facilitate the purchase of property in Harlem, New York, recognizing that the area would be an important base for future business operations. ​

Walker quickly immersed herself in the social and political culture of the ​Harlem Renaissance​. She founded philanthropies that included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the ​National Association for the Advancement of Colored People​, and the National Conference on Lynching, among other organizations focused on improving the lives of African Americans. ​She also donated the largest amount of money by an African American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.

We had breakfast in the room and the girls went to Snooze. We watched some TV, then checked out and went to the skating rink. Family pictures!

The skating rink was closed because they were having a performance, so we watched that, then went to the market. This was my Harriet hike.

We had leftovers at home and chilled the rest of the day.

It’s been a month of Harriet hikes. I walked 53.5 miles in 29 days. I missed 1 day because I was in the ER with 2 pulmonary embolisms, but started back again the next day (because the doctor said I could.) I lost 12 lbs (I also had no dairy, soda or coffee this month), walked with my dog, kids, hubby and alone. I walked 28 of those days outside, in the sun, in the snow, in the cold and only 1 day inside at the gym track. Pam got me to join Girl Trek and get my t-shirt and golden shoelaces for the goals on Harriet hikes.

Sunday was church, then lunch at Smokin Fins, Bethany went back to GJ, grocery shopping, napping and dinner.

Deep breath…our week – NIA, school, blood draw, homeschool skate, Holy yoga, doc, CFA interview, Police explorers, shibori at library, Montbello Walk2Connect, youth group, CO ballet Nutcracker, puppy day camp, David’s Repeal day release concert date night, orthodontist, working at church, school Winter social, women’s Christmas tea, Riize, Lakewood lights, church.

Dinners – lima beans and turkey brats, chimichurri chicken and rice chutney, honey plum pomegranate chicken with wild rice and snap peas, make your own brrrrr-itos, date night (sushi and dumplings for the girls), chicken with mushrooms, butternut squash and sage butter with forbidden rice, beef, barley and vegetable soup with peasant bread.

Pan-Seared Chimichurri Chicken

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) package boneless chicken breast tenders
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Chimichurri Sauce:
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
½ cup parsley, rinsed
¼ cup cilantro, rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon salt

Heat butter and olive oil in a deep skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until golden brown, about 1 minute. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook until browned on each side, no longer pink in the center, and juices run clear, 3 to 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Combine olive oil, onion, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, and salt together in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Spoon chimichurri sauce over chicken tenders; serve.
========================================

No-Knead Oatmeal-Millet Peasant Bread

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup millet
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup warm water
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal, or more as needed

Combine boiling water, oats, and millet in a large bowl. Let cool to 100 degrees F about 10 minutes.
Dissolve yeast and salt in warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir into the oat-millet mixture. Add 2 3/4 cups flour; stir until dough forms a loose ball. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm, draft-free location until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Dust a cutting board with 1 tablespoon flour. Turn the dough out onto the board. Tuck in the edges gradually to shape dough into a boule (rustic, French-style ball) without kneading. Cover with a clean dish towel; let rise until nearly doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place a lidded Dutch oven inside. Make 3 slashes on top of the dough boule using a serrated knife. Remove hot Dutch oven from the oven carefully. Uncover; sprinkle cornmeal over the bottom and place boule inside; cover with the lid. Reduce oven heat to 450 degrees F.

Bake in the preheated oven for 28 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Continue baking until top is golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes more. Carefully lift loaf out of pan onto a work surface and gently tap bottom of loaf; if it sounds hollow, bread is done. Let cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack.

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.
========================
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
=======================
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.
========================
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.

RiNo, Friday

#famouswomen

Yayoi Kusama 1929-

“A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

Raised in Matsumoto, Kusama trained at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts in a traditional Japanese painting style called nihonga. Kusama was inspired, however, by American Abstract impressionism. She moved to New York City in 1958 and was a part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s, especially in the pop-art movement.

Yayoi Kusama was a leader in the avant-garde movement soon after moving to the U.S. in her twenties and is said to have influenced artists such as Andy Warhol. She is also part of the minimalist and feminist art movements. Kusama is known for her red polka-dot art, a thought-provoking yet whimsical theme she has turned single-handedly into her own signature genre. She is known for her installation art, and she has turned everything from entire rooms to living tree trunks into red polka-dot canvasses. In 2008, one of her works sold at a Christies New York auction for $5.1 million a record for a living female artist at that time. Once you’ve seen her art, you really cannot forget it. Kusama is candid about her struggle with mental illness and lives in Japan at the Seiwa Hospital in Tokyo from where she commutes to her studio to produce art.

After school we headed to RiNo for lunch at Denver central market. After eating we walked to Visible’s interactive art/ad piece called Phonetopia.

It was like going inside of your phone from sliding the door to unlock the entrance to sliding into a pit of DM’s, pushing notifications out of the way and climbing over and under ropes to avoid notifications. In the game room Hannah won 3 things in the claw machine, we had tea and water in the airplane lounge and grabbed some free stuff (water bottle, pins, glass cleaner, pop socket) at the end. It was fun, free and I do like Visible’s logo (a smiley face.)

This is a pop-up ad, so it goes away on the 24th. We walked around to look at some of the graffiti and that was my Harriet hike for the day.

Back at home I took Jack out for a quick walk, then met James at Adelitas’s for dinner. It was tamale Thursday – $2 tamales. It was a TNO, but no one showed up – more tamales for me.

Friday

#famouswomen

(Elizabeth Cochran) Nellie Bly 1864-1922

As a young girl Elizabeth often was called “Pinky” because she so frequently wore that color. As she became a teenager she wanted to portray herself as more sophisticated, and so dropped the nickname and changed her surname to “Cochrane”. She attended boarding school for one term, but after her father’s death in 1870 or 1871, was forced to drop out due to lack of funds. In 1880, Cochrane’s mother moved her family to Pittsburgh. A newspaper column entitled “What Girls Are Good For” in the Pittsburgh Dispatch that reported that girls were principally for birthing children and keeping house prompted Elizabeth to write a response under the pseudonym “Lonely Orphan Girl”. The editor, George Madden, was impressed with her passion and ran an advertisement asking the author to identify herself. When Cochrane introduced herself to the editor, he offered her the opportunity to write a piece for the newspaper, again under the pseudonym “Lonely Orphan Girl”. Her first article for the Dispatch, entitled “The Girl Puzzle”, was about how divorce affected women. In it, she argued for reform of divorce laws. Madden was impressed again and offered her a full-time job and the pen name ‘Nellie Bly.’ Bly wrote eloquently about labor laws, women’s rights, and political corruption in Mexico.

Later, while working for The New York World, Bly had herself committed to a mental institution for 10 days to investigate the conditions. Her shocking report on the facility’s rotten food, vermin infestation, and horrific abuse of inmates led to public outcry and helped reform the care of the mentally ill.

In 1889, Bly had the newspaper send her on a race around the world inspired by Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. With a tiny travel bag and one dress, Bly made her way by ship, train, horse, and rickshaw from England to Italy, Egypt to Singapore (where she bought a monkey). When she arrived home on January 25, 1890, Bly set the record for circumnavigating the world in 72 days. She later married and became an inventor, registering several patents under her name.

After school I dropped Hannah and Malia off at Target and Grace, Jack and I went to HS skate. Grace got a good 1.5 hours of skating in and I read my book (and Jack slept.)

When we got home I took Jack on our Harriet hike by the Platte river. Day 15 of Harriet hikes. I’ve walked 27.5 miles in 15 days. Since 11/1 I’ve had no soda/coffee/caffeine. Besides some almond milk in my cereal, water is my only drink. I’ve lost 7 lbs. All I intended to do was walk 30 min a day, that challenge was a good kick in the butt! (Of course the knee shots are helping too.)

After James got home we left for Englewood Grand to see Sam at her going away party. She’s moving to Alabama to live on a cotton farm near the coast with her flower shop owning boyfriend. It sounds like a great adventure.

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.