Week 1 day 5 of pandemic schooling – Practical math quizzes, Environmental science unit test, Chemistry quiz, Algebra quiz, Engineering unit test, History reading, British Lit reading, Law and Order unit questions. James found Swiffer wet and dry pads at Home Depot – yay! Joel is coming home sometime today, he’s out of the Army and escaped NY before they clamped down on travel. We’re going on a food truck hunt for lunch, mac and cheese and funnel cakes. I made a sourdough starter, but it blew up overnight, I poured out some, but I think it’s messed up now. Just heard the dryer click off.

We found the Mac and Cheese truck (and the truck making funnel cakes right next to it) – yes, free! They are doing free meals every Friday, very nice of them.

How’s it going? Anyone ready to do this in the Fall? If you just screamed, you might be quarantine schooling.

Quarantine schooling: no friends, no field trips, learning is on-line or worksheets, no co-ops, no book clubs, no creativity club, no kindness krewe meetings, no dance in groups, no sports in groups, no band, no tours, no walking in groups, no ‘non-essential’ stores open. If you are blessed enough to have a computer and Internet (yeah, not everyone in the US does) you have access to the world, if not you are stuck with TV and the books you managed to check out of the library before it closed.

That is not ‘home schooling.’ This thing we’re doing – it’s new. None of us have ever done it.

I’ve been homeschooling for 23 years, (which only makes me an expert on my own children – not yours) I’ve been quarantine schooling for a week. It sucks because before this my kids had 2-3 hours of ‘school’ a day and then 1-3 activities almost every day. Theater shows, field trips, youth group, Police Explorers, co-ops, library events, art club, museum outings, after hours teen events, festivals, etc. (No, that’s not ‘normal homeschooling’ that’s our version, some people stay home more – we don’t.)

So, take a deep breath and feel better. You’ve got this, we’ve got this, we’re all in this together. This is not a race, we might all be quarantine schooling through the end of the year. If you need help, ask for it. If you have resources, share them. If you see advice…..well, there are a million ways to quarantine school (just like there are a million ways to homeschool) so do what works for your kids and leave the rest.



Week 1, day 1

This is actually week one of pandemic schooling. Last week was Spring Break and the week before that was just lazy school, we still had activities and a co-op. Day one of pandemic schooling and James working from home. Our Internet hates when an extra laptop is on-line, so it keeps cutting out – which is great for on-line school! Jack thinks that since Daddy is home, it’s time to play ball! Hannah and Grace aren’t awake yet! Usually when Jack gets to be annoying, we just pick up and library school or coffee shop school or mall school – well, that’s not happening. I think we might be park schooling today and for the foreseeable future. I bet we finish the school year early, which means…absolutely nothing (other than ‘core’ courses are done) since we homeschool year round.

The girls did their school, my lap-top was running off my phone’s hot spot because the Internet was not working on level 2 when 3 people on level 3 of the house were using it. Near noon James got a letter of ‘essentialness’ to go to work, so he left for NREL and I took Jack on a walk at Lookout Mt. He was so happy to find snow.

Back at home I read for a bit and then took a nap. I’m taking a nap every day around 3:30pm. My BP has been low lately, which might account for some of the naps. It’s very tiring to do things when you’re at 90/60. Not sure why it’s dipping so low, but it’s not an essential question to have to go to the doctor for, so I guess naps are the answer. It looks like Colorado is about 2 weeks from peaking for the Covid-19 virus, hopefully. But, I guess it doesn’t matter because unless every state peaks and starts going down, we are going to be in this for a lot longer. In other news, Joel is out of the Army and heading home after a few days of visiting a friend in New Hampshire. He was very lucky to make it out of NY before they clamped down on travel. But, I see him having a hard time getting across state lines with a NY license plate if he waits too long. His plan is to be at home for a few weeks, then go camping in the mountains (on BLM land I would guess because now most campgrounds in CO are closed due to……I guess social distancing, although camping is pretty much social distancing so I’m not sure why they are actually closing.)

Spring Break

Ugh, Stay at home orders started being issued today (Tuesday) for Denver, Tri-County was right behind them and then the Gov. It doesn’t mean we can’t go outside, we can, but all there is to do is grocery shop (all non-essential businesses have closed) and hike. Thank goodness we live in a beautiful state with lots of hiking places. And yes, travel to get to the outdoors is allowed (so I can drive to hike, I don’t just have to walk outside my house.) So, Spring break looks like: walking outside, chalk art, reading, watching TV, cosplay, playing with pets, going to youth group via Zoom, sleeping in, etc.

Lair O the Bear.

We drove by a friend’s house to say Happy Birthday to her little girl, a bunch of other people did it too so she had a train of people driving by wishing her a happy day. We made Shoofly pie (another depression era recipe) and it was…..okay. My filling leaked out of the shell a bit, so it was a lot of topping and not much filling.

South Platte river.

What is open in Colorado.

What activities are essential and necessary.

Today the girls walked to Target and Bethany left to go back to Mesa. Most students have left, but they said that if you wanted to stay you could. Classes will be on-line, but the library will be open to students (unlike here) and tutoring/food will still be available. That could change with the new order from the Governor, so we’ll see. Joel has a few more paper hoops to jump through before officially being out of the Army, then (assuming he can leave NY under their travel restrictions) he’s headed home and then headed into the mountains for camping (yes, in the snow.)

Thursday, Friday

More school, chilling at home, wandering the pet store, making a depression era water cake, snow, playing games, making art.

St. Patrick’s day

So, I feel a bit better after my rant. I found out that the Turkish place does Grubhub, assuming they are still open next week I should be able to get take out from them. In other news, it’s St. Patrick’s day.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May good luck be with you
wherever you go,
and your blessings outnumber
the shamrocks that grow.

May your days be many and your troubles be few,
May all God’s blessings descend upon you,
May peace be within you, May your heart be strong,
May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

We did a bit of school, Grace made green tea matcha macaroons and made an ice cream whale.

I am forever pinch protected on St. Paddy’s day.

David from LAPOMPE had a live stream concert in lieu of the bar he was supposed to play at. I worry about the artists and small businesses, how will they get through this? The Gov. announced that schools are now off until 4/17, but he suggested that it may go longer. Not that it matters for us, on-line school continues, but for those new learning at home people it has to be scary. I chose this path, they didn’t. I’ve tried to post things on FB, links and helpful advice, but the longer people are forced to forgo gatherings, the harder it will be. I had to cancel all of the stuff for April and it hurts, I have canceled maybe 3 or 4 things in the past 14 years with our homeschool group. A few were blizzards, so out of my control. But, I held co-ops and classes while Grace was in the hospital and right after I got out of the hospital, so I don’t like to cancel things. I’m hoping the while Covid-19 situation gets better – soon. People think homeschoolers just stay home all day (and some do), but not us. I (and the girls) are missing so many things like co-ops, field trips, theater shows, lectures, library events, art club, kindness krewe, church youth group, Police explorers, community events, festivals, volunteering, hiking, etc. At least we can still hike, for now.


It’s getting real now. I am mad. My birthday is next Monday and the ENTIRE state of Colorado just closed all bars and restaurants for 60 days. I know that sounds selfish, but dammit, I wanted to eat out at a local Turkish place.

So, today was a bit of school, some trips to the store to get plants and stuff, some reading and making macaroons for tomorrow. Hannah met up with a friend and Jack and I walked.

GirlTrek 30 day challenge, do at least 20 walks in the next 30 days, here are a few walking theme ideas to do.

☐ to the grocery store
☐ to the post office
☐ with co-workers
☐ wIth a friend
☐ across town
☐ at sunrise
☐ after a big meal.
☐ at sunset
☐ to get dessert
☐ to window shop
☐ to pick up litter
☐ to run an errand
☐ to visit a neighbor
☐ on a date
☐ instead of watching TV
☐ to the salon
☐ with a family member
☐ to wind down or relax

☐ to the end of your block
☐ around your block
☐ around your block twice
☐ as fast as you can, powerwalk
☐ 4 laps around a track, that’s a mile!
☐ 1 mile in 20 minutes or less
☐ 1 mile in 15 minutes or less
☐ 2 miles in 40 minutes or less
☐ 2 miles in 30 minutes or less
☐ 3.1 miles, that’s a 5K!
☐ 4 miles in 1 hour or less
☐ 6.21 miles, that’s a10K!
☐ to take a “sweaty selfie!”
☐ to earn a “GirlTrekGlow”
☐ in a pair of supportive sneakers
☐ in a “superhero blue”GirlTrek shirt
☐ in a race or charity walk

☐ along a river
☐ across a bridge
☐ on a beach
☐ on a wooded trail
☐ under a starry sky
☐ in a local park
☐ in a city park
☐ in a state park
☐ in a national park
☐ in a hilarious outfit
☐ to a street fair or market
☐ at a farmers market
☐ to a festival or concert
☐ to a museum
☐ to turn up
☐ to the best view of the city
☐ to a tourist site
☐ to a cultural landmark

☐ to celebrate good news
☐ to clear my head
☐ after a long day
☐ after a tough conversation
☐ in silence
☐ to pray or meditate
☐ to listen to music
☐ when I feel thankful
☐ when I feel joyful
☐ when I feel calm
☐ because I feel stuck
☐ because I feel stressed
☐ because I feel afraid
☐ because I feel sad
☐ because I feel alone
☐ because I feel angry
☐ to forgive myself or someone
☐ to remember that I am awesome

For those who suddenly find themselves homeschoolers due to school closures, it’s going to be hard. I have been homeschooling for 23 years, but I chose to do it. When you are suddenly thrust into the life by force, with factors that make it harder like single parent homes or dual working homes, younger children, children with disabilities – it’s going to be difficult but not impossible. Some schools are going on-line, but not everyone has access to a laptop/computer/tablet. You could use wi-fi at the library (if the library is open and you can get there), but don’t worry – 3-6 weeks off of ‘school’ is not going to impair your children.

Start with looking at who is going to stay home with the kids (unless they are of an age to stay home alone.) It may be a neighbor, grandparent, parent, older sibling, you may have to collaborate with other parents to do 2 days at one home, 2 days at another, etc.

Set a schedule, it’s not going to take as long to do school as it does at school, so if they have work or worksheets from a teacher, break it up into some kind of schedule. Allow for breaks, outdoor play, reading, etc. If you can’t use the links below, pencil, paper and books/DVD’s will get you the same amount of information.

Use this time to practice some life skills, cleaning bathrooms, personal hygiene, home repairs, shopping and cooking, meal planning, doing laundry (start to finish), etc. Start an indoor garden, start a kitchen herb garden, find ways to use food that you already have in a recipe.

If you have Internet and laptops utilize them for learning, Khan academy is free, there are documentaries for history, Youtube videos for science and (of course) books. Go stock up at the library on read alouds, history, science, fiction, non-fiction, DVD’s, audiobooks, etc. Below are some links to free on-line learning to get started.

ETA – if your library is shut down, utilize their on-line digital media and videos if you can.

Links –

I want to give those Mamas and Dads that are about to embark on a weeks long journey of ‘not their choice’ learning at home some words. It’s going to be okay. It’s scary right now, your kids are probably jumping for joy at the thought of being home for an extended period of time – but you? Not so much. What about work, bills, school work, tests, keeping them entertained etc?
I previously posted some tips for homeschooling, but here are a few more.

-Read. Read outloud, read real books, digital books, make your own books. Read graphic novels, read history, read Dr. Seuss. Listen to audiobooks. Download the library apps for access to tons of books. Find books at Little free libraries when the library is shut down.

-Write. Start a journal, write down what is happening right now – because it’s never happened in your kids lifetimes before. Create your own newspaper, make a digital version or handwrite one. Create poetry and simple paragraphs/5 paragraph/essays about things you’ve read/seen.

-Walk. Rec centers may be closed, but no one said you can’t walk around your neighborhood, go to a state park, find a new hiking trail. Look around, identify birds and animals. Learn the types of clouds, use a compass, identify local landmarks, make your own map.

-Cook. There is plenty of time now to cook together. Try new recipes. Use what’s in the pantry. Use spices, think outside the box. Get with neighbors and trade food staples. Learn how to can, make your own jams, jellies and pickled veggies. In Denver (and I assume in most cities) schools are still offering free breakfast and lunch to those that need it. Take advantage of what you need, but leave resources for others or be ready to help your neighbor.

-History/Math/Science. History can be read or watched as documentaries. Math is all around you, shopping, cooking, weather, statistics, on-line games. Play store and make change. Science projects, grab some balloons you can do a lot of easy experiments with them. Make a baking soda/vinegar volcano. Watch science videos on PBS and Youtube. Create a science fair project.

-Art. Break out the crayons, paper, canvas, paint, brushes, fingerpaints. Digital art, paper mache art, wire art, bead art. Create dioramas about historical events, make sand art, use chalk on the driveway. Learn how to stack rock cairns, create nature art, paint with water on the sidewalk.

-Worship. Whatever that looks like to you. Most churches will be shutting down, but some have on-line services. Go outside and pray, sing, read the Word. You don’t need to be in a physical church to worship. Hope is always present.

Links –
recipes using what you have –
Free nightly opera streaming –
Easy science experiments –…/50-easy-science-experiments-for-…
ebooks –
arts/crafts ideas –…/
virtual field trips –
Educational companies offering free subscriptions –…/list-of-education-compan…/…

Knee doc

Monday morning I took James to the drivers license office to get his new one, it was a short wait (which was surprising.) Back at home we did some school. Hannah had a lab to do, but we needed ice cubes, so that will be put off until tomorrow. The girls went to McD’s for lunch and when they got back I went to the ortho. I was looking for something in between the shot that I got in November (that did work, but only until the beginning of Jan) and knee surgery. I know I’m headed to surgery, I’m just trying to put it off as long as I can. Unfortunately based on my x-rays he really couldn’t offer me any magic shot. He said to limit the shots to 3 per year, 2 if I can handle it, because the more shots I get the less they will work. He said knee surgery could be soon, but if I can handle the pain (which I’ve been doing for 7 years already) to wait 5 or more years. Knee replacements don’t last forever, so the longer I can wait the better it will be. He was also not happy about my CHF and PE’s, those make me a big risk for elective surgery (oh, but not for non-elective surgery? Just being sarcastic.) So, basically I will save my knee shot for the summer hiking season. I am taking hyaluronic acid pills and (unknown to my cardiologist) putting CBD lotion on my knees and that seems to be helping a bit (a 5 pain instead of 8.) I have braces that I guess I will turn to again as needed, but they make my knees kind of stiff. I bought a new dress thinking it would make me feel better, but it didn’t. I had a cry, then sucked it up and went home. Dinner was sweet potato lasagna and instead of mashing the potatoes I just sliced them very thin. I think it tasted better than using noodles and mashed potatoes. Hannah decided to have a movie night and we watched the old Willy Wonka movie, it was fun and just what I needed.


Bethany took off in the afternoon to head back to Mesa.

Jack went to the dog park and I frustrated him by putting his ball into this ball.

The girls went to a teen MCA event while James, Jack and I had a chill time at Union Station.

From church.

Hope is a light in the darkness,
the spark that
moves us forward
to the true One love.
That God sent His only Son,
as the One gift.
Free to receive.
To the One hope,
a future,
bright with the light –
following the Son to the presence of
the One –
True God,
Loving father,
Miracle maker,
Peace talker,
Promise keeper,
the Hope,
that is a Light in the darkness.

Hope is a reasonable expectation that what has been promised will come true. Wishful thinking is simply wanting things to get better. “Unless something changes the future, you can expect more of the past.” H. Cloud. Why will tomorrow be different? If you have the One Love of Jesus, the One Gift of His free saving Grace then you have the One Hope of Eternity.

John 3:16-18a “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted

The week – co-op postings start, Ft. Collins date drive, cardiologist, school, Police explorers, entomology of Gore creek lecture (unless we get snowed out), One night youth group, water sampling, Grace work at church, MCA black sheep (tiny hibachi and mariachi!), weekend….fruitcake toss or Chinese New Year fest?, church, Grace working at church.

I took James to Kendrick lake park. We walked around the park, then went to the Danish bakery that he’s always heard of but never had a treat from. They have lots of good pastries there, so it’s really hard to choose just a few.

I’m probably going to tie or get just above my December walking miles in January, so I’m happy about that.

Dinners this week (starting tonight) – forage for your own food, chicken marsala with parmesan couscous and beet salad, lima beans and sausage, cheesy chicken broccoli casserole, spinach mushroom alfredo meatballs over linguine, MCA (out), Southwest stuffed sweet potatoes.

Southwest stuffed sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes
frozen corn and bean mix (or can of corn and can of black beans)
1 bell pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped
seasonings (chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper)
toppings – pico, sour cream, cheese, green onion, cilantro, salsa, avocado.

Set oven to 375 degrees.
Wash all potatoes and prick with a fork or a knife several times each (6-8 times at least). Rub each potato with a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.Bake 45-60 minutes, or until you can pierce them easily with a knife. (I place mine on the rack with a cookie sheet under to catch spills.)

Cook corn bean mix, add in bell pepper and onion, season with chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper. When potatoes are done, slit and fluff the inside, add in the corn/bean mix and add toppings.

You can add chorizo, taco chicken or taco ground beef to this too.

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.



Sacagawea 1788-1812

Born circa 1788 in Lemhi County, Idaho. The daughter of a Shoshone chief, Sacagawea was a Shoshone interpreter best known for serving as a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition into the American West—and for being the only woman on the famous excursion. Much of Sacagawea’s life is a mystery. Around the age of 12, Sacagawea was captured by Hidatsa Indians, an enemy of the Shoshones. She was then sold to a French-Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau who made her one of his wives.

Sacagawea and her husband lived among the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians in the upper Missouri River area (present-day North Dakota). In November 1804, an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark entered the area. Often called the Corps of Discovery, the Lewis and Clark Expedition planned to explore newly acquired western lands and find a route to the Pacific Ocean. The group built Fort Mandan, and elected to stay there for the winter.

Lewis and Clark met Charbonneau and quickly hired him to serve as an interpreter on their expedition. Even though she was pregnant with her first child, Sacagawea was chosen to accompany them on their mission. Lewis and Clark believed that her knowledge of the Shoshone language would help them later in their journey. In February 1805, Sacagawea gave birth to a son named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Despite traveling with a newborn child during the trek, Sacagawea proved to be helpful in many ways. She was skilled at finding edible plants. When a boat she was riding on capsized, she was able to save some of its cargo, including important documents and supplies. She also served as a symbol of peace — a group traveling with a woman and a child were treated with less suspicion than a group of men alone.

Sacagawea also made a miraculous discovery of her own during the trip west. When the corps encountered a group of Shoshone Indians, she soon realized that its leader was actually her brother Cameahwait. It was through her that the expedition was able to buy horses from the Shoshone to cross the Rocky Mountains. Despite this joyous family reunion, Sacagawea remained with the explorers for the trip west. After reaching the Pacific coast in November 1805, Sacagawea was allowed to cast her vote along with the other members of the expedition for where they would build a fort to stay for the winter. They built Fort Clatsop near present-day Astoria, Oregon, and they remained there until March of the following year.

Once Sacagawea left the expedition, the details of her life become more elusive. In 1809, it is believed that she and her husband — or just her husband, according to some accounts — traveled with their son to St. Louis to see Clark. Pomp was left in Clark’s care. Sacagawea gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Lisette, three years later. Only a few months after her daughter’s arrival, she reportedly died at Fort Manuel in what is now Kenel, South Dakota, around 1812. After Sacagawea’s death, Clark looked after her two children, and ultimately took custody of them both.

I am thankful that I got a lot of food prepped yesterday. That meant less standing and cooking today.

Thankful for laundry to do
Puppy hairs on the floor
A sink full of dishes
And butterfly kisses.

Thankful for learning at home
Walks in the snow
Date night with my love
And whatever licorice is made of.

Thankful for family
Both near and far
For friends to hang with
And life that’s a gift.

Thankful for no hospital stays
Warm blankets and cocoa
For a trusty blue van
And slightly crooked snowman.

Thankful for golden sunsets.
And clear rushing creeks
For a snow capped mountain view
Aspen trees and skies so blue.

Thankful for another day
For every breath to breathe
For joy, peace and love
And every good gift from above.


Jack had his own little Thanksgiving dinner (and turkey off the table.)

Bethany gave us some early Christmas presents, here is another snowman for my collection (filled with candy and popcorn.) We went around the table saying what we were thankful for (no hospital stays hit the top of my list.) Hannah also gave each of us a note about why she was thankful for us.

Here is our beautiful autumn palette of food. Smoked turkey, then from the bottom going clockwise: Italian sausage cornbread dressing, sweet potato, corn and black bean salad, brown rice chutney with apricots, roasted cauliflower, raisins and almonds and Grace’s pistachio honey chili brussel sprouts. Pecan and pumpkin pie for dessert.

We hauled out the Christmas tree and stuff and decorated.

We fought over light color.

We went on a Harriet hike/Thankful walk by the Platte river.

Look at our wicked icicles on the house!

Joel called and we talked for a bit, he went over to a neighbor’s house for dinner and he went to the gun range. We had some pie, then everyone (except for me) went to Target to look around. They said it wasn’t very busy at all. We capped the night off with a Columbo.

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