The Colorado adventure

Union Station and the weekend

#famouswomen #famousmamas

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.

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.”

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.

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 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.

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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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We missed the glory Fall colors by about a week, but there were still some colors at Mud lake in Nederland.

The old bus that was here forever – is gone!

Another Fall spot.

It was first Friday, so we had just enough time to grab a Starbucks before picking up James and heading to Santa Fe.

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Holiday high afternoon tea

Advent day 21

We took Brooke (because her birthday was the next day) with us to high tea. We went to Capital Tea (because it’s the last one I called that had something available for today) and I’m glad we went there. It’s small, so reservations are a must, but it’s all you can drink tea.

Which, we did. I had 4 pots, Grace and Brooke had 5 pots and Hannah had 6 pots of tea.

The scones, soup, sandwiches, meat pies and desserts were very good.

We stayed for 2.5 hours, so it was a nice relaxing meal. Then, since we were on antique row, we finally got to go to the shops and look around.

Then we went by the mall, then I took Grace to Skate City, then I crashed at home.

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Date night

Advent day 7 –

Not much going on today. Hannah and Grace did school and Hannah cleaned her room. I delivered some DCPA tickets for a show this month. We went to Goodwill and then chilled at home.

I’m looking forward to my date tonight, Christmas piano at Phil’s and the weekend in Grand Junction.

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Fun Friday

We did an exothermic experiment, but we need to go get some more peroxide.

Hannah helped me make the dandelion jelly. It was time consuming plucking all the petals from the flowers, washing them, steeping them, adding the sugar and pectin and then boiling for what seemed like forever. But, in the end, dandelion jelly that tastes like honey.

I made lemon bread too.

Zoe is heading downhill fast. She’s blind in both eyes now, and when she walks her right leg is totally sticking out and sliding and now her left leg is wobbly. She also can’t get in and out of the litter box and only eats/drinks if we put it in front of her face.

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Fun Friday {Zoo}

It was free day at the zoo. I may have to change my timing, it was packed at 2:30pm, I think people are coming at opening and just stay all day. At any rate we got to see the new tiger exhibit and a trainer with one of the tigers, so that was cool.

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Fun Friday – Tennyson st.

Bethany took Grace out for breakfast, when they got back I took the girls to the cat cafe to do school, kitten school.

This kitten decided that Hannah’s shirt was the best place for a nap.

Happy pic day 5.

We went to Atomic Cowboy for lunch, then walked to the Bookbar to finish school (yeah, kittens make it hard to do school.) Then we stopped by LM’s because, ice cream.

Then we went to the library for a DOTD sugar skull program.

Corissa got to spend the night, shenanigans ensued.

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Fun Friday – a play and Daniel’s park

But first, it’s Joel’s birthday today! He got our package, but we missed his call, so he’s calling tomorrow. I can’t believe that I’ve been a Mom for 23 years now. I don’t have a newer pic, so I’ll just post this one.

A friend got our HS group into a student matinee at a local high school. It was free, it was Shakespeare and even though Grace is reading Macbeth, who doesn’t need to see a play by Shakespeare? If you haven’t seen a good one, you might think, meh, there are better things I could do with two hours. This play was great! It was pretty much pure Shakespeare and spot on acting, line delivery, sets, etc. Puck was the best character (of course) and there was even a brief dog encounter on stage.

After the play we were starving (it was 1:30pm) so we drove to Daniel’s park for a picnic. The bison were out. B&W day 5.

The views.

We had time to chill at home. We were going to a worship night at church, but the girls had friends over and I wasn’t feeling great, so they played and I watched it on FB. The live feed didn’t mess up once, which was a great change. James has to work from home in the morning, then we’re going to LM’s. Bethany got stuck with a double shift on Sat and an early shift on Sunday, so she’s going to be tired this weekend.

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The do nothing day, Fun Friday, lazy weekend

The girls watched Titanic and 3 Jaws movies on Thursday. Wish it was for something, but they just wanted to watch them and I let them. Grace didn’t want any of the Jaws (just Hannah.) Hannah practiced her ukulele, Grace went to youth group and James and I went to Perry’s for a drink and they had a very good piano player there.

Friday our Hudson co-op was canceled, so we did some school at home, tried to make an Archimedes’ death ray (which really didn’t work, but probably would have started to burn the boats if we had coated the boats in gasoline and been a bit more patient) and went to Cafe’ 180 to eat lunch.

They always have such good food there.

Then we went to the Hyperspace arcade. OMG, I haven’t seen some of these games since I was a kid! I played Qbert, Burgertime, Cheyenne, Galaga, and more. I got the girls to play Joust with me, they hated it. Marble Madness got Grace’s goat, Dragon’s Lair (which I have literally not seen since I was a kid and played it at my cousin’s house) made us all mad.

I am definitely going back (without the kids…)

Saturday we went to Four Friends Kitchen for brunch. I gambled that the new DU location would be less busy than the Stapleton one and I was right.

We are going back (with Bethany) because I need to try their shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. Their fried green tomatoes and beignets were good, my coconut grits with bourbon kale, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and pecan sage pesto was so delicious. The grits were creamy and sweet, the kale (I hate kale) tasted like bacon, the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms blended with the pesto and it was just…so….good. There is a lot of seating, fun colors on the walls and chairs, though it can be a bit loud. On the way home we stopped by 3 ponds park to walk around, Fall leaves were changing and it was a nice little walk.

It’s a connector for the Highline canal trail coming from University, so James and I will have to go back and walk that section. Back at home we read and napped, I took Hannah to her ukulele class at the library – it was fun.

Back at home we put dinner plans on hold and went over to the Dolence’s for taco night (and we brought dump cake.)

Sunday we went to church where Mark Scott (a former preacher at our church that returned back to teaching at Ozark college) was giving the sermon of I am Cherished.

I am cherished
loved beyond compare
a heart can not fathom
the love that God does bear.

I am cherished
fondly held as dear
in His secure arms that
will protect against all fear.

I am cherished 
with God’s agape love
which crossed Heaven and Earth
blessed affection from above.

I am cherished 
by the God of the universe
HIs love seeks me daily
even when I do not love Him first.

I am cherished 
as God’s love rains down
from the storehouses of Heaven
to my heart, love is found.


Then we stayed for the next service and worked in the 3-K room. We only had 4 kids, we were talking about Joshua and the battle of Jericho. The kids all made Superkids masks to go along with the armor of God they’ve been collecting through the lessons. We had sandwiches at home for lunch and basically just sat around and read/played/napped all day until dinner. After dinner we took the girls to Freddy’s, then James and I went out to Perry’s again, sadly there was no piano player.

The week – water sampling/testing, worship dance, NIA, school at CU museum, Nederland drive, educators night at the museum, park day, book art co-op, youth groups, Women’s Bible study, educator training at History museum, Hannah off to camp, date night, school (in general.)

Dinners -TV dinners (I have an educator night), shake and bake pork chops with acorn squash, chicken pot pie, sherry apple pork chops with asparagus, lasagna, and I don’t know about Sat. night…James and I have a date night, Hannah will be at camp, so maybe Bethany will take Grace out for dinner.

Chicken pot pie

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed 
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts Add all ingredients to list

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sherry apple pork chops

6 pork chops
3 large apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry sherry

In a large skillet, brown chops, about 2 minutes each side; reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Arrange apple slices in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Dot with butter or margarine. Top with browned pork chops and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sherry over all, cover and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until tender and the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F

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