The Colorado adventure

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.

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Thanksgiving

#famouswomen

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.

-L

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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Trunk or Treat, SNOW, Opera, Halloween, Harriet hikes, weekend

Sunday was Trunk or Treat at church, snow had started falling, so they made the decision to have it indoors. Jack went as a dinosaur and the girls were helping with the kids games.

Jack ended up sleeping on my lap for almost the whole time. James was settled in Vegas by this time, getting ready for the start of his conference. It started to snow, so after getting some groceries we stayed in for the night.

Goings on – James at conference, school, shovel snow…repeat, Fox theater DOTD show, Barber of Seville opera, youth group, Halloween party, Harriet hike co-op, art walk, Night at the Museums, church, working at church.

Dinners this week – Mac and cheese with chipotle chicken sausage, beef taco soup, grilled cheese and tomato soup, sushi and dumplings, chicken fajitas, tikka masala meatballs with fried garbanzo beans, grilling stuff.

Monday morning, I heard the traffic was horrible. Lots of wrecks, icy streets, we stayed home.

We got Jack’s photos in from the pet parade, this one is cute.

This one, not so much.

This one is mine!

Jack had a lazy snow day.

We didn’t get the amount of snow that they thought, only 4 inches or so. But, another round of snow was coming on Tuesday/Wed. It came earlier than people thought, so some schools started the day on time, but ended early. Some schools took a snow day and CDOT was telling people that if they could leave work early (or not come into work at all), this was the day to do it. We had nowhere to be, so we just chilled at home.

We ended up with a few more inches, so maybe 7 total. Wednesday was our DOTD show, but I had stayed up watching the news and Aurora and Denver both called a snow day for Wednesday, so I knew the show would be canceled – it was.

Hannah was aching to get out, so we went to the mall. Youth group was canceled, and I was wondering if the Opera would be too – but it wasn’t.

Barber of Seville was amazing. The singing, the acting, the set and costumes – brilliant. Our student matinee seats were $12/15 and I looked up the price of our seats for the next show, $225 each – who can afford that?!

Thursday we did school and went to the library for a Halloween party. The girls trick or treated with M at night and we went to the Mansion for last stop.

Friday was my Harriet Tubman co-op and the first day of Harriet hikes (Girl Trek and Walk2Connect are doing 30 days of Harriet hikes to promote the movie.) We read 2 books about Harriet, watched a video, listened to a song and did some worksheet activities. We talked about slavery, the North and South, the Underground Railroad, Talking quilts, codes and the things that Harriet Tubman did that she’s not really know for like – Union spy, a leader of an Army mission to free 700 slaves, a nurse, and a suffragist among other things. After eating some hoe cakes we went outside in the cloudy 34 degree weather and walked around the lake. This story is about the awesome trek some of the GT people made walking in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman.
https://ideas.ted.com/what-we-learned-from-walking-in-the-…/

I’m also going to be posting each day of the month about women that you should know, some of them may be familiar (like Harriet Tubman), some may have done great things – but you never heard of them.

My knees were frozen, so they didn’t hurt until late when I thawed out. We went home and Hannah went to a birthday party, Bethany had come home to visit and Grace and I gathered stuff for the Art Walk. It was only getting colder as we set up a table and Grace put her stuff on it. We got a square so it would be easier to sell things, because no one has cash anymore. She sold two mini-canvases before James showed up. Jack was wrapped up in my coat and falling asleep, but then woke up when he heard James. We grabbed some dinner from the food trucks and braved the cold for a bit longer before heading home.

Saturday -I wasn’t going to do Mrs. Ford today, but it’s appropriate because tonight is Denver’s Night at the Museums and if you haven’t been to the Black American West museum, it’s free tonight. Also, there was a tidbit in the news about her house (the museum.)

Justina Ford: Denver’s First Female African American Doctor

Justina Laurena Warren was born on January 22, 1871 in Knoxville, Illinois. Justina’s love for medicine was clear at a young age; she often dissected frogs and followed her mother, a nurse, when she saw patients. Justina went to Hering Medical School in Chicago. She married John Ford, a Baptist minister, in 1892. She continued her studies and graduated from medical school in 1899.

After her graduation, Justina was denied her medical license. The license examiner told her, “I feel dishonest taking a fee from you. You’ve got two strikes against you to begin with. First of all, you’re a lady, and second, you’re colored.” When she and John moved to Denver, racial discrimination prohibited Ford from joining the Colorado Medical Association or practicing in a hospital. So, she set up a practice in her home at 2335 Arapahoe Street.

Justina treated anyone who needed medical care, regardless of race, gender, language, citizenship, or ability to pay. Many of her patients were poor whites, African-Americans, and non-English speaking immigrants who were turned away from hospitals. Ford learned multiple languages to help treat her patients. Her patients paid her in goods, services, or money. It wasn’t until 1950 that Dr. Ford was allowed into the Colorado and American Medical Associations. Even then, she was the only female African-American doctor in all of Denver. Ford continued caring for patients until two weeks before her death on October 14, 1952. By the end of her life she had delivered almost 7,000 babies. Dr. Justina Ford’s house is now the home of the Black American West Museum.

We went to Casa Bonita for lunch and it occured to me that Casa Bonita and I will both turn 50 in just over 3 years. I had my 40th b-day party at Chuck E Cheese’s, so Casa Bonita would be a step up (I think.)

Sunday Hannah was so excited to bring her coffee painting to church (and to work at the coffee shop) that she and Bethany walked there, early, like super early, like no one was at the church early. So, James went and picked them up and they had coffee at Starbucks. Later, I took Hannah back to church and she made me a ghostly peppermint latte.

Phil was preaching on being generous.

Famous woman of the day – Wu Zetian – born 624 BC

She was the only female emperor in Chinese history. She used every ounce of her political skills and pulled Machiavellian maneuvers to gain and maintain her power. In dynastic China, Confucius deemed women unfit to rule. Nevertheless, Wu Zetian rose through the ranks in Chinese society. Wu’s intellect and beauty attracted Emperor Tai Tsung, who recruited her to his court as his concubine. After the emperor’s death, his son Kao Tsung succeeded him. Kao Tsung had been having an affair with Wu even before the death of his father. She became his second wife—a large step up from concubine—after his ascension.

Emperor Kao Tsung later died from a stroke, and Empress Wu began administrative duties in the court, eliminating and spying on those who posed an obstacle to her, and putting her youngest son into power. When her son stepped down in 690, Wu was crowned emperor of China. As emperor, Wu truly did effect change in China. She gave government positions to qualified scholars, reduced the army’s size, lowered unfair taxes on peasants, and increased agricultural production.

Bethany and Grace went to lunch by themselves, so James, Hannah and I went to Shake Shack. Back at home we watched some TV, went grocery shopping and James and I got out to my Harriet hike at Fly’n B park.

Dinners this week – rosemary pan fried chicken and risotto, beef stew, chicken quesadilla, cheeseburger macaroni, cheesy chicken and rice casserole, chinese chicken soup, black beans and sausage. (Chicken was on sale.)

Chinese Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons chile paste
1 pound chopped cooked chicken breast
1 quart chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped celery
1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles (or egg noddles or any quick cook noodle)
1/2 cup chopped green onion

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook turmeric, ginger and chile paste in oil until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, broth, sugar, soy sauce and celery. Bring to a boil, then introduce noodles and cook until noodles are done. Serve garnished with green onions.

Goings on this week – school, taxonomy co-op at the zoo, HS skate, AF Planetarium field trip, Garden of the gods hike, Parker Police Explorers, GV ride-along (Hannah), youth group, CBI forensic field trip, dentist, Riize coffee shop, Mountainview coffee shop, church, HR concert band concert.

 

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Last week

A friend told me that she hadn’t been seeing pictures in posts, so hopefully that is working now. It seems there was something with Google photos that turned off sharing, so every photo I linked to wasn’t showing up. This is a quick hodgepodge of 10/5-13.

Over the weekend we went to a performance of Shakespeare in the parking lot, Midsummer’s Night Dream. It was abridged, but they packed a lot of the story into 45 minutes.

Sunday we went to The Lazy Dog and Jack was waiting on his food. He never eats the peas and carrots, but this time he spit come of them outside the bowl.

Hannah was working on her flower art on coffee.

I found pumpkin rolls on sale for 50 cents!

Dinners – pork tenderloin and stuffed mushrooms, sweet potato and black bean street tacos, sloppy joes, crockpot chicken and dumplings, burgers with butternut squash, ?

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema

8 cups Diced Sweet Potato
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
3 teaspoons Cumin, Divided
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (15 Oz. Size) Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1 Lime, Juiced
8 Corn Tortillas

FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA:
1 Avocado
1 cup Mexican Crema
1/2 cup Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a sheet pan with foil. Spread sweet potato on the sheet pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin and chili powder. Toss until evenly coated. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes roast in the oven, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onions and garlic, sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add black beans, remaining cumin, and lime juice. When potatoes are done, add them to the beans and mix until well combined.

Combine avocado, crema, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Top with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Monday we did school, then went to HS skate, dogs aren’t allowed in there – but Jack is!

Tuesday was Creativity club and another family showed up.

I wasn’t able to work on my geode painting, but I was able to practice carving leaves, it’s hard to do curves.

Ball time!

Grace is making smaller pictures of some of her art, she’s hoping to stake out a corner for the next Santa Fe art walk and sell some stuff.

Coffee shop school.

Image may contain: coffee cup, coffee and food

School today – The quantum atom, correlation coefficients, Petrarch’s Sonnets, Forensics blood spatter discussion, Criminal Justice lab q’s, Astronomy lab q’s, History Greece to Rome, Earth Science plate tectonics, slope. Ted talk about prison systems. 

Thursday it snowed and I tried to take James to work, we got all the way to Golden, but the roads were so bad he didn’t want me driving back home alone – so we came back home and he worked here.

Snow in Golden.

Jack was happy to go play in the snow.

School today – Criminal Justice (jails, prisons and community corrections), Earth Science (minerals), Algebra (slope intercept form), History (Roman society), English (write an analysis), Astronomy (webquest, galaxies.)

Forensics (trace evidence, hair and fibers ), Practical math (linear regression), Chemistry (atomic structure), British Lit (role of the supernatural in Shakespeare’s plays)

And Vi Hart just because – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CruQylWSfoU&feature=youtu.be

Jack checking the perimeter for squirrels in the snow.

Bethany came in Friday and took the girls to IHOP while I was at HS skate (just chatting.) I met them at the mall and Jack waited and waited.

The girls played games and watched TV. Saturday we went to the Arvada festival of scarecrows and did lunch at Saltgrass.

After lunch and getting Bethany a new phone she went to a friend’s house, the girls watched some TV and hung out with friends. Sunday we went to church, Hannah made coffee, I finished my book, Bethany worked on her book and we went to Connections church fall fest. Grace was working the face painting booth, Hannah carved her go-to throwing up pumpkin (and won a $10 Sbux card) and Jack had fin eating things off the ground.

We chilled back at home until Bethany left to go back to Grand Junction. Grace was painting, Hannah and her friend were hanging out and I took a nap. James and I went out to dinner at Perry’s while the girls watched Jack. It was a nice date night with dinner and drinks. Back at home we watched the next Glitch and season 3 is posing interesting questions.

Oh, the weeks are flying by , this week – Fall break day, TNO, school, Shakespeare in the parking lot (Romeo and Juliet), poe-tea, Parker police explorers meeting, Doc (me blood work and x-rays), TDO, Geeks who read @ library, Paint like Alma co-op, planetarium show/Manitou (rescheduled from last week), Zoey’s pet parade, working at Riize (Hannah), church, Fall Flannel Fest, working at church (Grace)

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow)- ham/mushroom/swiss quiche, pinto beans and rice with cornbread, lemon chicken and asparagus, shepherd’s pie, sausage and spaghetti, BBQ chicken and corn on the cob.

A Scotsman’s Shepherds Pie

5 cups mashed, boiled potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with juice, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup peas
1 cup Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
1 cube beef bouillon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Stir potatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a bowl until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add ground lamb, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and crumbly, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour off excess grease and season lamb with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir tomatoes with juice, onion, and carrot into ground lamb; simmer until vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add peas, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until peas are warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Heat beer in a saucepan over medium heat; add beef bouillon. Cook and stir beer mixture until bouillon is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon butter, whisk flour into butter until thick and paste-like, about 1 minute. Stir gravy into lamb mixture and simmer until mixture is thickened, at least 5 minutes.

Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Grease a 9×12-inch baking dish.
Pour lamb mixture into the prepared baking dish. Carefully spoon mashed potatoes over lamb mixture, covering like a crust. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese, parsley, and paprika over mashed potatoes. Broil in the preheated oven until crust is browned and cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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Days are flying

Tuesday I ran some errands, got the kids to take a picture (I should have turned the flash on.) Bethany was leaving today to go back to Grand Junction and I realized that I missed the opportunity to get a family pic with everyone (since James was at work already), so I just did the best I could.

I took Grace and Hannah to see the new Spiderman movie – it was pretty good, I think they made a good call casting Spiderman. Stuff is starting to show up for school, but don’t worry – we have plenty of Summer left. I can’t believe how early in August (last week) the public school kids went back to school, way too early. My Cuba book came in, yes it took me since last October to finish it. Part of that was Shutterfly’s fault. My pics were all on Google photos and for months the upload feature in SF from GP was not working, then when it did I still had to arrange the photos, add text, choose backgrounds and stickers. So, it just took a while. I do love Grace’s picture on the front – it’s pretty much screams Cuba.

Wednesday I took James to work, we stopped and had affogato before heading to NREL.

It was a gorgeous morning, so Jack and I stopped at Red Rocks on the way home.

This is my Boop eating a flower.

I dropped Jack at daycare (and finally got his picture from last weeks camp) and headed to the doc.

I had a chiropractor appointment (thought I’d try it as I wait on the neurology appointment.) He didn’t actually crack my neck, just moved it around, stretched it and used the activator – doesn’t feel any different, my face is still numb, still have dizziness, hand tingling, vision stuff, so….I ran some errands then came home for lunch. The girls and I had a co-op, game day, at Enchanted Grounds.

I didn’t know that they let you demo the games they sell there, so after 2 rounds of Tsuro I checked out the House of Danger (based on the Choose your own adventure book.) It was awesome!

I bought it and another game. We played House of Danger for 2 hours at the store and another hour at home. The only problem is that it’s just like the book, so you have to keep the cards in order because sometimes you have to go back to a card to choose another option. It was TNO night (a night early because we leave for GJ tomorrow), but no one showed up. After I ate I met James at Adelitas for a drink and dessert. Jack was in play mode when we got home (because when the girls watch him they let him sleep instead of keeping him awake.) It took him about 20 minutes to calm down and go to sleep, but once he’s out – he’s out.

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Week

It’s not fair, the older I get, the faster time flies. Jack was being a nut this morning.

Tuesday we had a co-op at the Chatfield botanic gardens, we went there to see the earth work art by Patrick Dougherty. This is the 5th installation of his that we’ve seen (and only 1 of those 4 are still around.) They are ephemeral pieces, so they don’t last forever.

Invasion of the Japanese beetles, I think they are pretty.

Around the farm and the small butterfly garden.

It was getting hot when we left, so glad we went in the morning. I had to run in at the doc and get some blood work done, I was supposed to have an MRi to check out my brain (headaches), but I volunteered the info that I have metal coils in my spleen and since the info wasn’t in my chart, they said no. Turns out I was supposed to get a card from the hospital that says that I have the correct kind of metal that can go through an MRI, but I never got it. It took the docs till Friday to get the info and (more on this later) by then they just told me to go to the ER.

Wednesday I had a newbie chat with some homeschoolers, Jack went to daycare and Grace retook her driving test (and passed!)

She made herself a celebratory lemon chiffon cake.

The Boop was tired.

My headache was getting worse, I call this piece ‘Fiery pain in my brain.’

This one reminds me of a very hot day here.

Jack thinks it’s fun when Joel plays with him.

Some more fluid art.

I really need to get a blowtorch to bring out the cells better.

Friday I went to the doc with 2 new worrying symptoms – face numbness (like when you go the dentist and they give you a shot) on the left side of my face and hand tingling on the right side. My face wasn’t drooping, it just felt numb. Well, given those symptoms, head pain of 8, vision problems, fatigue and dizziness, the doc said to go to the ER and get an MRI there (because if she had just ordered one it would have been next week.) So, I drove home and Bethany drove me to the ER, James took an Uber there, Bethany went home and Joel came up. I was there for 7 hours, 5 IV pokes before the 5th one was good, a CT scan and MRI, some IV meds and EKG. They came up with nothing on the scans, so I was referred to a neurologist. But at least I left the place with a prescription and enough meds to knock the pain down to a 3/4.

Looking much better on Sunday.

Hannah met a friend at the mall, so Jack got to go through Nordstroms. He sat quietly by my seat in the mall until it was time to go.

James was at work, so when I went to pick him up we had a date night in Golden. First stop, Golden Moon Speakeasy where I had 2 excellent drinks (and my new favorite – root beer and absinthe.)

Then we walked over to Tributary, a new food hall. I think they need one more dinner type food place (they had pizza and a raw seafood bar), but overall they have some good options for breakfast/lunch.

The Buffalo Rose was playing live music, so we went over there to listen. I had never been in the old one before, but the new digs they have are awesome. I love the pieces of history they saved/exposed and the open air bar is very cool (it has a sliding roof.)

This is the week that we follow Bethany back to GJ for school. Joel and company leave on the day we get back. They have: gone to the shooting range, fixed up a motorcycle, gone hiking/camping, ran errands, slept in, played video games, played with Jack and eaten some good food. I guess I missed my chance at a family picture because as I write this Bethany is about to head out (early because she has some job training to do before school starts), James is at work, so I could get a ‘just the kids pic’….

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Week so far

Tuesday we had a real girls day. We had Kneader’s for breakfast, then Bethany had to go do something for work. In the afternoon we all went to get manicures (except for Bethany who got a pedicure.) Then back home for dinner, then the girls watched Jack so James and I could go listen to LAPOMPE at Union Station. Technically we can take Jack there, but we haven’t yet.

Wednesday was the Senses exhibit at the DMNS. The girls had already seen it at teen night, but I hadn’t. We had about 80 people show up for the field trip. The exhibit had some good information, some hands on stuff, a good show and a room that made me dizzy.

Jack was at doggie daycare all day, so he was tired. We had movie night with popcorn and candy watching the Basil Rathbone Hound of the Baskervilles – that is until Plex cut out about halfway through. Then we started watching Dressed to Kill (also Rathbone), but didn’t finish it.

Thursday was park day, we’ve never been to Majestic view park or nature center, it was okay. There are no bathrooms, lots of ants and not much shade at the park. But it does have a nice view. We wore Jack out playing ‘Jack in the middle’ and made some chalk art/sayings.

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Week in review

Last week –

Monday Hannah and I went to NIA, we did school, Grace worked and I took Hannah to dance. Grace and I sat at Solid Grounds and made some art. Joel was busy making a gun, painting it, filing it, going to get parts, going to the gun range, etc. That took up a lot of his leave time.

Tuesday was Poe-tea and we actually had 2 other kids show up. When they heard March was sushi and Japanese themed food, they were like – I’m there! Yes, we bribe with food and it works.

The poet was e. e. cummings and we found out some interesting things about him. Cummings was a pacifist who (before being drafted) worked in France on an ambulance line – he and a friend used to send letters home trying to outwit the French censors. He wrote a poem a day from age 8-22, a feat for sure. He favored dynamic use of language over grammar and punctuation and saw poems as visual objects on a page, not just words. We listened to this poem, read by the author, which was interesting. It was slower than I would have thought and (the parentheses) make it hard to figure out where to pause or stop or start. I wondered if he was hiding things like he did in his letters back home during the war, take out the parenthese and find his deepest secret, but read only the parenthese and it’s like an echo. Our poetry to write was shape poems.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
By e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Our poem to make for the day was shape poems, I didn’t get a picture of the other kids stuff, but it was good.

Wednesday was park day, no one showed up, so we walked Jack around and let him play with some other dogs for a bit.

Jack was tired.

Thursday was my wood art co-op. It was just using sharpies to draw on some wood pieces from Home Depot, they turned out really well. I added magnets to some of them so they could hang on the fridge.

Friday we went to the Parker library for Creativity club. Joel joined us and drew for a bit before heading to the post office and to hang with a friend.

It started snowing in the evening and it really stacked up. We had about 7 inches or so, enough to make Jack able to walk around and lick the snow without having to put his head down. We ended the night with Joel cleaning his guns and packing up and watching an old Sherlock Holmes.

Saturday we got out early to the airport to drop Joel, the roads were very clear for having some much snow the previous night. There were 68 car crashes on Friday evening, we saw a few left over cars this morning, but when it snows if you can wait for the plows – it makes a big difference.

Once the girls woke up and were ready we headed downtown to the Ice climbing fest. Jack loved the slingshot balls, every time someone missed and a ball bounced back he was running like crazy to get it. We also did an ice maze, tree throwing, arm wrestling and looked in the tiny house and at the climbers. They weren’t climbing the ice while we were there, just the plywood and cubes, trying to get a fast time. It would have been interesting to see the vertical ice climb, but my toes were frozen – so we didn’t stay any longer.

Sunday we went to church, went to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (cute movie), put together Grace’s vanity and went to Olive Garden for dinner.

My week – NIA, school, hanging at Solid Grounds, ballet/dance, jazz guitar date night, TDO (Fika in Parker), river samples, youth group, Teen science cafe (botanist), board game co-op, TDO (calligraphy at Smiley library), missions banquet at church, weekend….Leadville ski-joring? Dairy block Mardi Gras parade? so many good options…

Dinners this week -Olive Garden, make your own pizza, ravioli with goat cheese/beet salad, crockpot chicken and dumplings, braciole over egg noodles, church missions banquet, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with corn on cob, grilling stuff. For some reason we have a very Italian menu this week….

Beef Braciole

(Note you can stuff it with whatever you want, so I’m ditching the prosciutto and adding spinach, pine nuts and golden raisins)
6 thin slices boneless top round (about 2 pounds)
12 cloves garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for serving if desired
2 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry red wine
2 cup beef broth
1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cut top round slices in half widthwise so that you have 12 equal pieces. Place beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound to 1/4 to 1/8-inch thickness.

Mince 4 cloves of garlic; slice the remaining 8 cloves.
Combine minced garlic, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Place a prosciutto slice over the filling then sprinkle filling evenly over all beef slices.

Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pot and brown seam side first to seal it. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add the wine and the sliced garlic. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add beef broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Place beef rolls back in the pot and bring back to a simmer.

Cover and cook on low heat, turning occasionally until beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Alternately, cook covered in a 325-degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high.

To thicken (if needed) place pot back on the stove if cooked in the oven. Remove some of the hot cooking liquid to a bowl. Add the flour and stir until smooth to create a slurry. Slowly add it to the hot cooking liquid, bring to a slow simmer and cook until thickened.

 

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Owls, TNO, Weekend

The owls are back at the park. Can’t wait to see the babies.

I went to TNO on Friday (Pho) and had one friend meet me there who is neither a homeschooler nor a Mom, but we had fun. Hannah made me some friends to take with me, just in case no one showed up, sad, but there it is.

Jack got some pics at Red rocks.

Saturday we drove to the Springs to check out Pub Dog, an indoor and outdoor restaurant where you can have your dog with you. They served their food in dog bowls which I thought was cute.

Then we went by the Ice Cream Lab, I had a French toast taco, probably should have shared it.

Jack was out on the way home.

And playful at home.

Sunday we had brunch at Pappadeux and then took Jack by the dog park.

He wanted to go to Zoey’s, but they were closed.

I cleaned up some more, kind of Marie Kondo style, purging and finding homes for things that aren’t used all of the time or just don’t spark joy. I listened to a podcast of 2 women who read a self-help book and then live it for 2 weeks, they were not a fan of week 2 living the Kondo life. I agree, it’s stupid to put everything away, I use pots and pans 2-3 times a day, I don’t want to have to drag them out every single time I use them. But, things like blenders and espresso machines that don’t get used every day – those can reside in a cabinet.

What I’m up to this week – NIA, school, driving practice, Grace at work, Hannah at dance/ballet, hanging at Solid Grounds, teen poe-tea, LAPOMPE at Union station, park day, youth group, wood art co-op, creativity club (Parker), Arvada Winterfest (maybe), church

Dinners this week – baked potato bar, tacos, pot roast, chicken and eggplant parmesan, chicken and sweet potato buddha bowl, grilled cheese and soup.

Buddha Bowl

3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups baby spinach
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Spread sweet potato and red onion onto a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over mixture and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Bake in the preheated oven until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir 2 cloves garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 6 minutes per side. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk 1 garlic clove, lime juice, almond butter, soy sauce, and honey together in a bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil and sesame oil into mixture until dressing is smooth.
Divide quinoa among bowls; top with chicken, sweet potato mixture, spinach, and avocado. Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds over the top and drizzle dressing over each bowl.

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Walking, Mansion, Valentine’s Day, Kindness Krewe, Taco Bell

Wednesday we got out to Montbello again and walked with a bigger group (it was nice outside.)

We got lapped by the old people, I blame Jack. Anytime there was a pile of snow, he had his face in it. We had lunch at Shake Shack, which means Jack had a puppy ice cream.

We left him at home and went to the HR mansion to meet some friends, tour around, eat some treats and belt out ‘Sweet Caroline’ when the DJ played it.

Back at home I caught the exact moment when Jack chaed the squirrel. James went to pick up Joel from the airport, I took Hannah to youth group and we waited for Joel to get home.

Thursday we loaded up flowers and cards and went over to Quincy senior housing and handed out Valentines and walked around with Jack so people could pet him. We played 2 rounds of Wheel of Fortune with some of the residents, then headed home to do school.

Jack was not happy about having a bow put on him.

Joel was busy putting a gun together.

Jack’s first Valentine’s day.

We went to Taco Bell, of course, for dinner.

We left the girls at home and Joel went with us to Englewood Grand for a nightcap.

Sweet!

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