Category Archives: Kids at home

Ned

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Grace and I went up to Nederland for a hike. Hannah had Malia over, so they hung out until M had to go to her guitar lesson. We picnicked by Boulder creek before the hike, it was nice.

Lots of wildflowers at Mud lake.

Jack was chasing pine cones, then carrying them around like a ball.

We stopped at the Train cafe for a drink.

The drive home was long, we got stuck in a line at tunnel 1, then after waiting for 30 minutes a car came by and said someone had flipped in the tunnel and it was totally shut down, so we turned around and backtracked – that added about 40 minutes to our drive home. I started on the peasant bread as soon as we got home and got the Shakshuka on the stove, it was really good. After dinner James and I sat on the porch with a libation.

Joel and friends get home tonight (he had gone to NY to help Chris move his stuff back here – Chris’ car broke down before they got out of NY, so Mike drove to get them with his truck to haul the trailer down here, so we have 2 extra people for bit.)

Weekend and slow week

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I only go to the doc when it’s really, really bad. All week I had a pain in my back, but I just sucked it up…until this morning. Since I can’t get a face to face with my real doc (because of Covid, they have only been doing phone visits) we went to Urgent care and they were pretty fast. After 1 IV, 3 radioactive CT scans (done all at once, but on different areas) and labs they concluded I had a very bad kidney infection. It felt like a kidney stone (not that I’ve felt that, but I do have them, just not in the right kidney.) The doc thought aneurysm (funny, he didn’t mean the ones I still have, he thought it might be a new one – it wasn’t), he also ruled out blood clots (which according to my hematologist I would only have a .1% chance of having another since I’m on blood thinners.) So, kidney infection it must be. James was at home (since no one can be with you at Urgent care or the ER, unless it’s a child and you are the guardian) so I sent him updates and pics. I had to wear a mask, but I can breathe just fine with a mask under my nose.

When I got home I pretty much laid around for the next 4 days. Joel took Hannah to the gun range to shoot and they had a very cute target.

James took me out to Perry’s to dine in, I took some pain meds before going, eating inside a restaurant was amazing. I can’t believe that we’ve not been able to do this for 2 months, I really hope that every small bar and restaurant is able to come out of this ‘non-essential’ storm.

Watched church Sunday morning and pretty much chilled the whole day. Lazy reading.

Dinners this week – ribs from Sooper’s with ba’corn and mac and cheese, pork green chile stew, quesadillas with cilantro lime rice, sweet potato mini-cakes, pan fried chicken with salad and broccoli, pasta and meatballs, anniversary dinner, b-day dinner.

Sweet potato mini-cakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups canola oil (or applesauce)
3 cups shredded peeled sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

FROSTING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1-1/2 cups ground walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, potatoes and extract; beat until combined. Stir in the walnuts.
Fill 12 greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the sugars and extracts until smooth. Frost sides of cakes; roll in walnuts. Place cakes upside down and frost tops with remaining frosting.

Monday was Memorial day, Zack came over to stay a few days. He and Bethany got to eat out (dine in) a lot.

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”- General Douglas MacArthur

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”- Ronald Reagan

Image may contain: outdoor, text that says 'OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. PRESIDENT HARRY STRUMAN'

We found out how to switch FB live to the TV, so we got to hear and see  Live from Emmet’s Place (jazz) on the big screen instead of just the phone.

I pretty much spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the couch reading.

I had a call in to my doc to say hey – I still feel like a knife is stabbing me in the back, do I need a different antibiotic? He said no, just keep taking the one I’m on, it must be a bad infection if the antibiotics are not working fast. By Wednesday evening the pain was still there, but felt like a smaller knife, so I guess the meds are working, it just took a bit. There was no youth group, so the girls were upset about that. But, good news, church will be starting back up this weekend (outdoor service) and then going to indoor (with an RSVP and only 100 people allowed.) Hannah will be back at the coffee shop and I guess youth group will think about being in person again soon too.

Thursday I finally felt well enough to take Jack on a short walk around the pond. He wanted to get in the water so badly, but I didn’t want to wash him (it’s very muddy.)

After dinner the girls and I went to the park so Grace could chalk and Hannah could throw the volleyball around.

She didn’t have enough time to finish the squid, so she’ll probably go back and do another one (assuming this one is gone.)

Graduation tomorrow!

Easter weekend

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Saturday we tried to get coffee at crazy lady’s, but she was closed, so we went to Starbucks instead. After brunch we went to Evergreen lake for a hike, it was perfect weather, not too hot, not too cold. Jack had fun pawing at the water and seeing other dogs. Though there were a lot of people at the lake, everyone was 6 feet apart (or in family groups.)

Some people had masks on (a new ‘order’ to wear them outside), but that is still voluntary and I’m not wearing one. Wearing a mask (or gloves or both) just gives people a false sense of security, those things will not protect you if someone has the virus and coughs near you. I feel like we are never going to have stay at home orders lifted because more people need to get the virus, but more people can’t get it because we aren’t all out and about. I went to the store for groceries and James BBQ’d for dinner.

Easter Sunday dawned snowy, we ‘went’ to church on FB and I started cooking. Ham, honey roasted carrots, lemon garlic asparagus, rosemary mashed potatoes, sourdough bread, pumpkin pie and lemon tarts. A feast! I set the table with china and some pine branches, we went outside for a porch portrait (my one request) and then had a late lunch. Despite the times, it was a nice family lunch. James and Joel got out for a bit, the girls played games and read, we watched Buddy vs. Duff (Buddy won!) and some other TV before bed.

Our week – School, make a leyden jar without electrocuting anyone, shovel snow, hike, Zoom TNO, Depression era baking, Zoom youth group, clean out closets, Hudson walk, weekend hike, Joel leaves for his camping/mountain hike, church.

Dinners this week- spaghetti and garlic bread, cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and spanish rice, sausage and shrimp jambalaya with dirty rice, beef kofta in pita with cucumber tzatziki salad and pickled beets, chicken noodle soup with sourdough bread, take out night (pizza.)

Beef Kofta with Tzatziki

1/2 medium yellow onion
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 small pinch red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil, for oiling the pan
Naan or pita, for serving

Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater and place 1/4 cup of it in a large bowl. Grate the ginger on a Microplane and place 1 tablespoon of it in the bowl. Grate the garlic on the Microplane and add it the bowl. Finely chop the parsley and mint and add to the bowl.

Add the ground beef, salt, and spices and mix quickly and gently with your hands to combine (do not overwork the meat or it will be tough). Form into 30 (2-inch balls) and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a pan lightly coated with vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan.. Grill, turning occasionally, until brown all over and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove to a serving platter.

To finish, lightly grill the pitas or naan in the grill pan for about a minute to toast and warm through. Top with kofta and some tzatziki. You can also add lettuce, dill, tomatoes, cucumber, etc to the pita.

Platte

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Tuesday school: Earth science (the Moon’s influence), English (culture and literature), Engineering (Chemical engineering quiz), Law and Order (text and lab questions), Algebra (quadratics), World history (WWII Allied victory)

Chemistry (chemical thermodynamics), Practical math (Investments quiz), British Lit (analyze ‘No Witchcraft for Sale’), Personal finance (controlling expenses discussion), Environmental science (fossil fuels quiz)

Citizen science project – webinar on caterpillar count – https://scistarter.org/caterpillars-count-webinar

And for fun – a little Vi Hart math – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc23mwBnbNQ

James worked from our bedroom, Joel went to the gun range and the girls stayed home to read, draw and play games while I took Jack to the river. Jack had fun eating bubbles, chasing a golf ball and sticks and wading around. He doesn’t like water, but he likes it better when no one is forcing him to go in. Of course, he needed a bath after getting all sandy/wet (which he was not happy about.) It was 77 and sunny, so that feels really hot here. The water was cold, but as long as a breeze wasn’t blowing it felt fine.

After dinner we talked to Grandma and Tony, then we went to the park to draw/see the moon/listen to the howls. Every night at 8pm people in Denver have been howling for heroes (like the clapping in NY.) It’s been spreading and now at 8pm there are howls in Denver, HR, Parker, Castle Rock, Lakewood, Aurora and other surrounding areas.

Friday

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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.

 

 

Monet, St. John’s, ice skating, finals, b-day pics, random stuff

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I dropped Jack at daycare, we put Marley in puppy jail at home and we headed down to the Art museum for the Monet exhibit. I was surprised at how close we could get to the art, you could stand 6 inches or so away from them. Of course, the art looked better from far away, the strokes and dots blended better. It was a long exhibit, two floors worth, plus a short film (that we just missed, they only had one showing.) Grace was surprised at how many Monet paintings there are that we’ve never seen. Bridge over the lily pond, yes, famous. Paintings of the sea, rocks, fog, boats, ships, never seen them. Grace said the exhibit made her heart happy and inspired her to go back and do some watercolor paintings. Hannah thought the exhibit was long and boring, I thought it was well done and other than needed a few more places to sit, it was great.

We wandered around the Light exhibit for a bit, then headed home. I dropped the girls off, went to a HS group meeting, picked up Jack and then took Jack and Marley for a walk. They weren’t walking in the same direction so I put Jack’s leash on Marley and then they had to go in the same direction.

Tuesday was St. John’s music at noon and ice skating. They changed the ice skates to an in-line skate version with straps and little padding – so they aren’t comfortable. Still, Grace skated for about an hour while Bethany and Hannah sat in Corner Bakery chatting and writing.

Since Jack had been at daycare for another day I plopped him (and Marley) in the bath at Petsmart. Neither one thought that was fun.

Wednesday was finals and youth group. Thursday Grace finished up her finals and Hannah went to Chuck E Cheese’s for her History final. After she was done we had pizza and played some games.

I ran some errands back at the house, then grabbed Bethany to have a mini-birthday photo shoot (since we didn’t do it on her actual birthday) and take her out for a drink. Later James and I went to TNO (and we weren’t the only ones there.)

Friday was HS skate, Marley got picked up, I took Jack for a walk, he ate some snow, then it was back home for a bit. Hannah had a super fast orthodontic appointment, I made stuffed bell peppers for dinner and we watched some TV before bed.

Union Station and the weekend

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#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.

Thanksgiving

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#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.

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

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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.

 

Last week

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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.