Category Archives: hike

Grand Junction

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We left Friday afternoon (after the Forensic pathology lecture, which was very interesting) for GJ.

It was a long drive and we got in late, Jack was wired up and wanted to play, but we eventually got him to sleep.

The girls stayed in Bethany’s dorm (she doesn’t have a roommate.)The next morning we dropped Jack at daycare and James and I had breakfast at a cafe while the girls slept in.

Main street.

We had lunch with the girls and Zack at Texas Roadhouse, then went to walk around the mall. We split up, the girls went back to the dorm and James and I went to Fruita to walk around. We managed to get there when everything on Main street was closed.

We took the scenic route back to the college.

We went to dinner at Pho, then walked around Barnes and Noble. The girls were going to see MacBeth, but it was sold out, so they ended up going to the movies while James and I went for a nightcap.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and walked around the college, said goodbye to Bethany and headed out.

We stopped at Rifle Falls SP because we were close to it.

There were caves, some big enough to walk in, behind the falls.

Stuff – Heart Echo/EKG/MRI/cardiologist appointment, school, Grace work, friend time, ballet, worship dance, TNO, EG Hammertime benefit drinks, Holi @ Fox theater, youth group event, Creativity club, hike, Pop tart party EG, Resurrection day!

Dinners – BBQ pork sandwiches, taco Tuesday, peanut coconut curry chicken (had to move it from last week), quinoa bowl, sweet potato and chorizo lasagna, grilling stuff.

Spring break

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Day 25 – take some time to write down your thoughts somewhere, a journal, a blog, a random piece of paper. What are you doing this week, what did you do last week, what made you happy or sad?

Monday Grace had to work, Hannah had dance and ballet and we made some art at Solid Grounds.

Jack might have had an ice cream cone.

Day 26 – Compliment someone today. We went by Fly’n B to check on the owls and Jack got muddy.

Jack also got to go to the dog park.

Day 27 – Spend some time today listening. If you are outside, close your eyes, what do you hear? If someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Listen before you respond. We drove up to Ft. Collins today for some pizza, some ice cream and a hike. We are definitely going back to the ponds, the Poudre runs right next to it and there is shade and a beach.

Jack knows ice cream is coming.

Jack was a little tired after that…

Day 28 – it’s Thankful Thursday, what are you thankful for? We went sampling this morning, but our spot was blocked due to construction, so we sampled downstream.

Our snakes were sunning when we got home.

Later we went to the library for Creativity club and 2 other families showed up for a bit.

Day 29 – Laugh out loud today. That’s easy to do when you start off at the Denver Puppet Theater for the Brer Rabbit show.

We had lunch, then went to another co-op that was supposed to be a hike, but it turned into nature center play time and a short walk.

Day 30- find some time to volunteer. It snowed overnight, but not enough to stop us from going to church to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Out table packed 18 boxes, as a church we packed over 100,000 meal kits that will feed over 250 kids for a year.

We put Jack in daycamp and drove to check out the newest Littleman spot – Constellation.

Day 31- be a good friend, (not just today.) After church we took Jack to an Art of Brunch. It’s where you walk around the art galleries looking at art and munching on the offerings of each gallery.

Slow week coming up – school, driving practice, work for Grace, ballet, worship dance, jazz at EG, NIA, making art, youth group, Colorado ballet, CU Boulder terrarium making, Springs walkabout, church, kite fest or fairy fest (depending on weather.)

Dinners – chipotle pork (didn’t make it last week), cheesy chicken and pasta, lasagna, chicken quesadillas, Irish shepherd’s pie, grilling stuff, Front Range BBQ?

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water, or as needed
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner), shredded
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground beef; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove beef mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined.
Spread beef mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan.
Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture.
Top the beef mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Hike, Pikes Peak Pickle Shack, Kindness Krewe

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Day 21 – go on a hike with your kids (and dog, if you have one.)

So, we really only drove to Green Mountain Falls for a hike because it’s near the Pickle shack and Grace wanted to get over an hour of driving in (she drove home.) I was hoping the musical swings would still be in town, but they were packed up. Guess when they say a piece of art is there for a limited time – they mean it. Anyway, it was kind of windy and a bit chilly, but our hike was pretty flat. I brought my sling for Jack, but he only rode in it for a few minutes.

Then we went to the Pickle shack and got some peach pie in a jar, peach and jalapeno preserves and pumpkin butter.

Day 22 – do something kind today, we were at the Montbello library making no sew pet shelter blankets.

The many moods of Jack when waiting on Hannah to get her hair cut.

My birthday present to myself came in early!

At the library making blankets for the pet shelter.

Spent some time cleaning up the house as my birthday is tomorrow and LAPOMPE is coming over to make brunch and have a concert.

HIke

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Day 8 – nurture yourself with some nature. We went out to Cherry Creek SP for a hike at Cottonwood creek. Jack wasn’t too happy about the water, but I bet in the summer he will be.

I dropped the girls at home and Jack went to Kinko’s with me, then Grease Monkey, then Office Max, then back home.

The girls watched Jack while James and I went to Lumber Baron for dinner (made by David from LAPOMPE) and some new tunes off the not yet released album that they made with their Kickstarter money. Dinner was amazing, paella, salad and good drinks. The music was so good, they did a few old tunes, but mostly new stuff that was just amazing. The talent of the guys, the music writing ability, it’s really cool to see that up close.

We had good conversation with the couple across from us and the amount of happiness and joy that filled the room from all the friends and family wishing these guys well on their journey was so good.

Driving, hike, chocolate fest

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On Thursday we did some school and then Grace drove us to the Paint MInes. In all she drove 3 hours on highway, freeway, county roads, roundabouts, merging, traffic, construction, etc. It was good weather and good driving conditions and an easy way to get 3 hours and a hike in.

But, when we got to the Paint MInes a sign said ‘no dogs’, so Jack and I stayed on a bench while the girls went down to the hoo-doos to take pics.

Friday we did short school (LA, math, Biology, History, English) and then went to the Platte river for a hike. Another family (with a teen!) showed up.

We walked 3 miles and it wore Jack out.

Saturday we took Jack for a puppuccino, then dropped him at puppy daycare while we went to The Cereal Box and the Chocolate fest in Arvada.

We stopped in at various shops to sample their chocolate or candy or drinks or whatever they were hosting for the fest.

Hannah and Grace both won a plushy!

Break

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It was James’ break too, so on Friday we braved the cold and drove to Ft. Collins to check out Littleman’s new ice cream shop up there – Churn. Jack was shivering, eating his ice cream and shivering some more (but not giving up that ice cream!)

Flatirons on the way home.

It was to cold to go walking from store to store, so we took the scenic way home. Saturday we lazed around, same for Sunday. We took Jack to his favorite store to get a cookie, they were all out of iced ones so he got a BBQ mailman instead.

Monday it started snowing, which made everyone happy (and made a shorter line at Dim Sum.) I got a call from my cardiologist while we were eating, upping my meds again, but I did enjoy my meal.

Bethany went to a friends house, we chilled out till it was time for fireworks.

Watching Peter Rabbit.

It was 8 degrees, so we bundled up and put a sweater and coat on Jack. The fireworks were very short this year, about 5 minutes, not sure why they were so short.

We headed home and watched some TV to stay awake till 12 to ring in the New Year with grape and apple champagne.

Tuesday was our first hike of the New Year, at South valley. It was 9 or 10 or something like that – cold. Even with the sun shining it was cold, there was a slight breeze. Jack walked part of the way, then we carried him so his paws could warm up, but he wanted to get down again.

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We warmed up with some coffee and doughnuts and I was happy that was our big outing of the day.

I have no big plans for the next few days, just chilling, running errands, checking on things, getting movies from the library, and cleaning up for my Mom’s visit next week. I might have to find something to do this weekend though, too much chilling wears on one.