A whole week

Tuesday we went to the Newman center to see Cirque Fabric Flip, it was great. I don’t know how I’ve missed out on the fact that the Newman center has school matinee shows for $5pp, but it’s on my radar now! The show had acrobats, jugglers, live music, it was funny and had a great story.

Wednesday it snowed a nice snow, Hannah got her top braces on, I got some snowflake pictures and the girls went to youth group.

I put this PSA on my FB page because when I turn red, gasp or wince everyone asks if I’m ok. If you see me turning red, it’s just a new side effect. If you hear me gasp or see me wince, that is my heart or lung or kidney or knees hurting. Advice from my cardiologist and hematologist- don’t go running to the ER for every pain, wait it out. Which isn’t the best advice because I did wait out what turned out to be my first PE, then went in and there were 2. Also, if you see Jack and not me, ask him to find mommy because when we are out he’s attached to me, so if he’s alone I’m lying in a ditch somewhere.

Cute.

Chemistry dull experiment.

Friday fun – Jack at the dog park. You know who wins in a race to a ball? Jack.

Grace is good for another year and her hours earned her a free state park pass and a set of bamboo utensils.

The rescheduled Valentines dance was a hit, Hannah and Grace got to sing and dance to Summer Loving, Grace made some new friends that like anime and art, Hannah danced, they were super hyped when it was over.

Saturday they went to lunch with a mentor and James, Jack and I went to the Petite Mardi Gras parade.

We went walking by the Platte before heading home.

In the evening the girls watched Jack and James and I went to Golden Moon Speakeasy for a jazz date night. We went by Jack in the Box afterward for tiny tacos and jalapeno poppers.

Sunday Hannah worked at the church coffee shop, we made tacos for lunch, we watched Father Brown, Hannah asked to go to the antique shop, Grace finished her first try at a stuffed fish and worked at church and dinner was yummy.

To do this week – school, knee doc, Fat Tuesday, EG Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Cinderella musical, youth group, Water sampling, Tea and book swap co-op, Grand Junction trip, random walking around.

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow night) – sweet potato lasagna (make your lasagna, just sub thinly sliced sweet potatoes for the noodles, same cooking time), chicken and shrimp jambalaya over dirty rice, chicken pesto with garlic couscous and broccoli, ratatouille, Grand Junction two nights, thai basil shrimp over linguine.

Ratatouille

2 eggplants
6 roma tomatoes
2 yellow squashes
2 zucchinis

SAUCE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves

HERB SEASONING
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven for 375˚F..

Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch rounds, then set aside.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from heat, then add the basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula.

Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Make the herb seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Serve while hot.

Breck snow sculpture

 

Weekend

Chinese New Year, Year of the Rat.

Sunday James and I went to brunch at Death and Co. Very good food and drinks. They have 2 upstairs bars too, one is only open in the Summer, the other only Thursday-Sunday evenings.

Later we took Jack on a walk and then grilled hamburgers for dinner.

Doing this week – school, Breck snow sculptures, co-op sign-ups, Winter poe-tea, youth group, stand-by for Peter Pan, ice skating, yikes I haven’t done the Feb fests and events list yet, church

Dinners this week – Grilling stuff, green chile chicken bake, BBQ brisket stuffed potatoes, Cuban ropa vieja stew, grilled sandwiches/soup, chicken cordon bleu, teriyaki steak and fried rice.

Cuban ropa vieja stew

6 oz. bacon, roughly chopped
2 lb. flank steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried oregano
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 16-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup halved, pitted green olives
1/3 cup sliced jarred pimento peppers
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Heat a 6-quart or large Dutch oven (or other heavy-bottomed pot) on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, about 5 minutes, until the fat has rendered and the bacon has cooked. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
Season the sliced steak with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add steak to the hot Dutch oven in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining steak pieces. Add the onion and peppers and cook about 4 minutes, until soft. Add the cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic, bay leaf, and tomato paste and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Pour in the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot as it deglazes. Return the bacon and steak to the pot. Add the stock and tomatoes and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the contents come to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook 2 hours or until steak is tender.
Stir in the olives, pimientos, and vinegar. Let cook uncovered a further 30 minutes, then taste and add salt as needed. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

Stock show, dog-sitting, weekend

One of Hannah’s rats looking cute.

Stock show time! I think I finally have the best parade spot picked out, I thought I had it today, but people started piling in front of me when it started. I think the best spot is near the end, behind the fence, in the middle of the street. This way no one can cut in front of you.

This is Marley, we’ll be dog-sitting for a week. He is a 12 y/o Shitzu.

I took them to the dog park and Marley sat in his stroller, then got out and just stood by me.

Jack’s new ball came in.

Saturday James and I took the dogs on a walk, Marley started out in the stroller, but we found he can actually walk, so he ended up walking a mile.

Later we went to jazz at the library, the quartet was pretty good.

Afterward I took James to Grow and Gather for a drink and to show him the place.

Sunday I stayed home from church so people wouldn’t get my cough. The dogs were trying to find a good spot to lie on me without touching each other.

James and I took the dogs to Cherry creek for a poetry walk. Some of the businesses have poems in the windows, it was a nice jaunt and both dogs walked the whole time.

Grace finished the painting on her jacket.

Goings on this week – trying to get over a cold, DAM Monet field trip, HS skate, St. John’s music at noon, ice skating, finals, youth group, TNO, ortho, HS skate (it lined up so there were 2 of them this week), MCA teen event, church, Bethany goes back to Mesa.

Dinners this week – mojito lime chicken bowls with street corn, Italian sausage with eggplant parmesan, Greek chicken pasta with salad, TNO (dumplings or TV dinners for girls), Chopped pantry (ie what’s in your basket? Use only pantry items to make a meal), out (girls are eating at MCA.)

Greek Chicken Pasta

1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta (or your choice)
½ cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cut into bite-size pieces
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until tender yet firm to the bit, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add artichoke hearts, tomato, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano, and cooked pasta. Cook and stir until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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.
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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.
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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.

Fun Friday and the weekend

Friday Hannah did a quick minerals lab and then we headed to the Springs to see Humpback Whales at the AF Planetarium.

We went to the Penny arcade and I broke Galaga! I was just playing and hit my own ship as it was coming down, it froze a bee on the screen and it wouldn’t advance past this. There are 2 more Galaga machines at the arcade, but one of them has a sticky fire button and the other has a sticky joystick.  I hope it’s not really broken, just needing to be turned off and on.

Saturday we had a nice coffee with the girls and then went to Zoey’s pet parade. There were a lot of pit bulls there because Zoey was a pit bull, but there were a handful of other breeds (but only one Jack.)

Jack was honed in on the pet photographer – she had a ball.

We all walked up the street to the park for pictures, then back down Main st.

Businesses take corners and make pumpkin art.

Sunday after church we went to the Dairy block for the Fall Flannel Fest.  We talked to Joel and he said he had gotten his b-day package. He turned 25 today, hard to believe.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, baby, child, outdoor and closeup

Image may contain: Joel Carberry, hat

The week – Denver Police dept. tour, school, DMNS Hallow-teen night, H2O in Keystone for Grace, Police Explorers, youth group, hike, Petsmart Boo, Littleman pumpkin carving, church, Trunk or Treat, James gone to Vegas.

Dinners this week – Tex-Mex beef and rice skillet, teen nite (whatever the DMNS offers), chipotle chicken sausage sandwiches, Italian chicken and acorn squash, chilli and corn bread, butternut squash and peasant bread, Saturday night is up for grabs.

Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Skillet

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper, diced SAVE $
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso™ enchilada sauce
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef 6 to 8 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown. Drain, and wipe out skillet. Add oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add, bell pepper and corn. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

Stir in beef, enchilada sauce and taco seasoning mix. Heat to simmering; stir in rice. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice is heated through. Top with cheese and cilantro.

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