Category Archives: outdoors

Week

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Monday, NIA – Bollywood routine, fast and sweaty. James, Grace, Jack and I went up north for a walk and to get ice cream from The Churn.

Tuesday I got my tubes back from a friend and Jack and I went to float in the pond. We bumped into a neighbor paddleboarding with her daughter, that was fun.

Wednesday, NIA again, just as good as Monday. We went to Fly’n B for a picnic and frog spotting, then Grace and I went to the library. I applied for Hannah’s state ID (since she doesn’t have a permit yet) and we made spinach alfredo lasagna for dinner.

Thursday I took a library book to Phil’s and Rachel did a great job. 2 down, 78 to go.

Friday was the first homeschool skate since March, Grace was happy. Jack got to eat and ice cream for lunch, so he was happy too.

Snow is coming

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Sunday – From church – A vibrant spiritual life is full of faith filled anticipation and expectations. God is a God of forgiveness, no one is perfect; we all have our mountain highs and valley lows, that’s why God sent Jesus to come alongside us. Don’t run ahead of God – thinking you know what He wants, but also don’t be afraid to follow Him. Live your life, be awake, pay attention to God’s call, be patient and wait with wisdom on Him, not running ahead or falling behind – but walking where He leads. He comes with the things He wishes we would give to others – love and forgiveness, but even if people can’t give you those things – God can.
Psalm 130
1-2 Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.
3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.
5-6 I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.
7-8 O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption…
Dinners this week – Olive Garden, grillin’ stuff, beef stew with zucchini tomato bread, black bean and sweet potato burritos with salad, sausage and fried cabbage with beet salad, lemon garlic tilapia with cream corn and brussel sprouts, grilled cheese and tomato soup
Zucchini bread with sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
4 small/medium zucchini
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (I am going to use less than that)
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Rind of 1/2 lemon
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
Soak the sun dried tomatoes overnight in a bowl of water. Rinse. Grate the zucchini and mix with 1/2 tablespoon salt in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes, and then put in a cheese cloth and press to drain all the water. You should end up with about 1 cup of very well pressed and compacted grated zucchini. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.
Mix the butter, sugar, rosemary, lemon rind, eggs and water in another bowl. Add the zucchini and the chopped and rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes (you can chop up the tomatoes into even smaller pieces before doing this). Mix well. Incorporate the dried ingredients and mix well until it becomes a uniform dough.
Transfer the dough to a non stick 9×5-inch baking pan. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, and then start checking every five minutes until it’s ready. You’ll know it’s ready when you pinch it with a knife and it comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges and unmold.

Labor day was hot. There was a lot of smoke from a fire up in Ft. Collins, still, James, Jack and I went to the pond for a dip. We grilled hamburgers and steak, I made watermelon agua fresca, we watched some Perry Mason, took a drive and had a holiday drink at Phil’s.

Tuesday it rained, then started to snow, then stopped for a bit. Jack and I went for a walk, we haven’t picked plums yet and now we may not get to. If it snows too much they will just drop on the ground and I’m not sure how the ones left hanging will taste, so I may have missed my plum butter opportunity. James and Joel went to the range while the girls and I did some school and made zucchini tomato bread. After dinner we watched another Perry Mason while the snow fell.

Wednesday I went to NIA and Jack was not happy about the amount of snow we got. He did meet a little wren friend though (don’t worry it flew off after a few of Jack’s sniffs.)

We had a cosplay tea in the afternoon.

Thursday urban walk with Jack.

The all day date drive

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But first, coffee at Ground up, Jack looks like he needs a cup.

Drive, drive, drive, then a stop at Kenosha pass to stretch the legs.

Then drive, drive, drive, get out at River Runners and find out they are closed (who closes an outdoor restaurant on Labor day weekend?) Played in the river for a bit, then drove into town for lunch because we were hungry.

Then, drive, drive to St. Elmo the ghost town. The chipmunks fet fed so much that they come right up to you. Jack just stood still, he thought he was dreaming – so many chipmunks!

We wandered around town.

Then we drove home, stopping at Kenosha pass again to let Jack out. Since Phil’s was on the way home we stopped there and had dinner from Zomo’s. A wonderful day!

 

Wednesday through the long weekend

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Ba’corn is healthy if you add it to salad.

NIA!

I’m loving my Spotify playlist.

Hike at Little park.

Red sun from the fires.

Pond swimming, 4 1/2 hours with Grace and a friend, I didn’t get any pics.

Fun Friday – LEGO exhibit at the DMNS, very cool.

SAME cafe for lunch.

Valor center musical Bright Star (by Steven Martin), it was very well done.

Saturday we left EARLY to drive the LONG way to GJ (cutting around the I-70 fire closure) to swap cars with Bethany because it has to have an emissions test and it can only be done in Douglas co and she has work/school and if she left GJ and came back she’d have to quarantine for 2 weeks. First stop, breakfast at Rudy’s, brisket breakfast tacos – yum!

Road snacks.

Monarch pass.

Blue mesa reservoir,

Finally made it to GJ about 3:30pm, had to time to relax at the hotel before dinner.

The evening view from the hotel, the Pine Gulch fire burning about 18 miles away.

Sunday morning, breakfast and goodbyes.

Smoky Mt. Garfield.

We took the other route back, first stop, Rifle falls SP.

Rifle Gap SP on the way out,

Next stop, White River museum in Meeker, way too much to see in the time we had.

Lunch at a park in Craig that had amazing tree sculptures.

Next stop, Yampa river botanic gardens.

Green Mt. reservoir.

Pure Kitchen in Frisco for dinner.

Made it home at 8pm!

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow) – left overs, bringhe with naan (skipped it last week), garbanzo beans and sausage stew with pita, BBQ stuffed potatoes with salad, pan seared chicken with asparagus and garlic couscous, veggie makhani with brown rice, out/grill.

Monday, Tuesday

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Jack and I went walking at Fly’n B park, the plums are not ready yet and there are no crabapples. I guess I will have to actually buy some apples to make cinnamon apple jelly.

Tuesday I finished another Perry Mason (those books are addicting) and Jack and I went to walk up the steps at the Cabrini shrine. It’s a very peaceful place.

Grace made a halloween orca dressed as a ghost.

I made taco and ba’corn and James, Jack and I went to TNO. We walked around the park and then relocated to Vines for some wine and dessert.

Weekend

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Saturday – date drive (I could do these every weekend!)

We had coffee at our normal Saturday spot, then headed to Buena Vista to have lunch at River Runner’s grill.

A shady table with an Arkansas river view, some good drinks, music and food.

Then, we took the scenic route home which included a stop in Canon city to see the soon to be restored St. Cloud Hotel.

Then we headed toward Pueblo for a Bingo Burger stop. We had shakes and Brussel sprouts, Jack had a baby Bingo burger.

We finally made it home at 8pm, just in time for some Diners, Drive ins and Dives.

Sunday, From church – A little help for my friends – Anxiety and worry

People, humans, have this desire to be in control, but we live in a world full of uncertainty. This is not the only time in history that we have been on information overload and living in uncertain times – but now more than ever people are anxious and worried, people might feel like their particular worry is something no one else has to deal with. Our culture emphasizes self sufficiency, human nature itself leans to pride, but we were never meant to carry the huge weight of worry and be anxious about everything.

What is the first thing you do if you are worried, if it’s to post it to social media or try to muddle through it alone – there is a better way. Jesus promises to bear our anxieties and worries. He alone is all sufficient. We are told to cast our cares on Him, but just like casting a line for fishing – looking to Jesus and aiming for Him to cast our cares takes practice. Learning to lean on Jesus first means unlearning old ways of dealing with worry and practicing new ways. You aren’t the only one facing uncertainty, feeling anxious and worrying; everyone faces giants, suffering is universal, you are not alone. What we face here is temporary, though it may not seem like it at times, but in the end God will restore what is broken.

Realize that you are not alone, lean first on the Word of God, the promises of Jesus and then come together with others to support each other. Lean on Jesus, cast your cares on Him, pray with and for others, don’t let the information overload of the world drown out the Gospel message.

“Satan loves to fish in the troubled waters of a discontented heart.” – Thomas Watson

“He who is swollen with self-excellency and self-sufficiency—is not fit for Christ. He is full already. If the hand is full of pebbles—it cannot receive gold. The glass is first emptied, before you pour in wine. God first empties a man of himself, before he pours in the precious wine of his grace. None but the poor in spirit are within Christ’s commission. ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted’ (Isaiah 61:1), that is, such as are broken in the sense of their unworthiness”. – Thomas Watson

{I Peter 5:5….God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people. 6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.}

{Philippians 4: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.}

{Psalm 34:4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.}

Dinners this week (starting today) – chili and cornbread, stuffed green peppers with salad, tacos with ba’corn, brown gravy hamburger patties with fried potatoes and leeks , bringhe with naan, chicken, sausage and shrimp jambalaya with brown rice, out/grill.

Bringhe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 medium chicken leg quarters, meat removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
½ pound tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
½ pound cubed fully cooked ham
2 bay leaves
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup uncooked glutinous white rice

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with the curry powder and stir to evenly coat. Add the chicken and stir. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the prawns into the mixture and cook another 2 minutes. Add the ham and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Again cover the skillet and cook another 2 minutes. Pour the coconut milk into the skillet. Add the rice and stir. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Friday walk

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GirlTrek walk day 5, today I will tell you a tale of four people and end with Caribbean soul food.

First, @CityandCountyofDenver and @HistoryColorado, we can do better at plaques and signage. Madam CJ Walker and George Morrison Sr. park plaques were unreadable. They are weatherbeaten, broken and people deserve history that is readable. Frederick Douglass and Dr. Daniel Hale Williams parks had no plaques, is that because they didn’t live in Colorado or because you think everyone knows them? People are ignorant and not everyone knows every famous person – so a readable plaque would be awesome.

Now, this is a longer walk, but I made it a smaller loop. None of the parks have water or bathrooms (they are all kind of pocket parks.) It’s in the Whittier neighborhood in Denver (named after abolitionist poet John Whittier, racially integrated since the 1890’s, and the developers were among Denver’s earliest citizens.)

I started at Madam CJ Walker park, as you can see the signage is damaged, broken and parts are unreadable.

(I’ll link to each of the people in the comments.) Short bio – Mrs. Walker was the first American woman millionaire, she lived in Denver, she rocked African hair care, looking at her past you would have never thought her future could be what it was (which is why we shouldn’t judge people by their past.) Sunflower, a house, tall sunflowers, little library, intersection with Whittier sign.

George Morrison Sr. park, again, signage is not great.

There is a nice violin sculpture though, I’m not sure you can read the quotes from the pictures (one side was better than the other.) The side with his picture on it reads, “Tis not birth, nor wealth, nor state, but get up and get, which makes any man great.” The other side reads, “I shall only pass this way but once, I’ll do the best I can, by being a useful servant, to my fellow man.”

Short bio – George Morrison Sr. went to school in Boulder and studied violin at University of Colorado. In 1920 went with his orchestra to NY to record for Columbia records. Toured the world, played for Kings and Queens, gave free lessons to children at his Denver home. Weird mushrooms we saw at the park, Denver Gospel Hall church, hopscotch.

Dr. Daniel Hale Morrison park, no plaques, but guess what? I just read about him in my Heart a History book! Short bio – Created the first interracial hospital, performed the first open heart surgery (1893), listened to Pasteur and Lister and advocated for sterilizing equipment and washing hands and other things to prevent infection, lauded by Frederick Douglass (I’m going to guess this is why the parks are so close together.) Jack and I sat on a bench and cooled off for a bit before heading to the next park. Another typical Whittier house.

Frederick Douglass park, no plaques, but everyone should know him…right?

Again (like Dr. Morrison), not a Denverite, but a famous person. Short bio -Born a slave, learned to read, taught other slaves, beaten and abused, escaped to freedom, became an abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, wrote a famous book, had crazy hair. From that park we walked straight down the street back to where we started (it was a loop.)

Food – Genna Rae’s, Caribbean soul food. I had the jerk chicken, collard greens and plantains. They can cook! If you want jerk chicken that will transport you to a hammock over looking the beach (I had jerk chicken in Jamaica) this will do it. If you can’t handle spicy food, don’t get the jerk chicken! I used the plantains (cooked so perfectly) to cool off between bites. Then, collard greens, pretty good, I think Cora Faye cooks them a bit better, but they were still good. It’s a to go only, there is enough room for 2 people to stand inside and order, but luckily they are right next to Fuller park, so grab it and head over there (they also have wings and other sides, but today I wanted Jamaica.)

So, that is my GT urban walk for today, I hope you learned something new and if you want some good chicken, go check out Genna Rae’s (1819 E 28th Ave, Denver, CO 80205.)

Hudson gardens, TDO

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Wednesday Grace and I went to Hudson for a walk and to learn about water lilies. We lucked out and when we got to the lily pond, the workers were cleaning it and gave us a short lecture on water lilies.

We walked around for a bit looking at flowers and then went to get a cold drink.

I made Keema aloo for dinner, so good.

Thursday I took Jack with me to the Audubon trail, we had a nice walk and went to check out the secret pond. As soon as my cuts are all healed, pond time!

Jack was really tired.

And hot, he loves to sit by the vent when the AC is on.

I met with 3 friends at a coffee shop and we had over 2 hours of conversation on a variety of topics, ahh, adult conversation!

Wednesday, Thursday – getting tired of ‘resting’, Friday

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Grace painted my nails when I got home.

Hannah went to Police Explorers and has most of her uniform now.

I had an uneventful night sleeping on the couch, couldn’t wait for Wednesday.

I had a ton of books to catch up on, so….

My Mom and Tony sent flowers and a neighbor brought over fruit salad, fruits and green salad.

I sat on the porch like an old timey TB patient.

Thursday the goal was 0 pain pills (I had 5 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday.)

I tried some pickled beets.

Pickled beet reviews. First up – Paisley farm pickled beets. I got these from a friend so I don’t know where she bought them from. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is super mushy baby food and 10 is crack-a-lackin’ these beets are a 4. They are somewhat firm, but not snappy. They are sweet, but not overly so and the flavor profile has a hint of vanilla and cinnamon in it.

Friday was park day, Grace drove us and 1 new person showed up.

Grace made some cute dessert animals.

My July walking.

More beets.

Pickled beets review, 2nd up – generic Walmart pickled beets. The crunch scale on these (remember 1 is super mushy and 10 is crack-a-lackin) are a 2-3. (The King Soopers brand, which apparently everyone is hoarding right now, have a higher crunch factor and brighter vinegary taste.) These are the pickled beets of despair, no earthy flavor, no subtle hints of aromatic spices, just beets, vinegar, some sugar and water. But, if you want a light tasting beet to flavor bland leafy greens, it will do.

 

Tuesday, ACC, park day, kayaking, last drink, weekend

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Tuesday was my pre-op appointment at the doc, going over surgery instructions and do’s and don’ts. Then I went downstairs to get some pain relief.

A friend wanted Grace to make an octopus tattoo so she made this.

Wednesday was park day and people showed up (and they had teens.) Turns out the Mom had been in Police explorers when she was a teen, so Hannah liked her right away.

Thursday Grace and I went kayaking in Georgetown. We made it to the other lake when a huge gust of wind made us get out, we should have just waited 10 minutes, but instead we packed up. Since we were closer to Frisco than home….Pure Kitchen it was.

Jack found a new favorite place to sit.

We stuck close to home for a last drink, first time at the Tavern in Littleton.

Friday Grace had her advisory and orientation for ACC and picked classes (Advisory, English, Algebra and Mythology.) Then we went to River Watch to drop papers and get a new buret, then to Sherry’s Soda Shoppe for ice cream and malts.

I got a new headband and bracelets.

Jack tripped over his own two feets and broke a nail, a trip to vet ended in a wrapped paw and medicine.

Saturday the girls left for Grand Junction, they made it there just fine. I had a busy day with a ton of chores so I can relax after surgery. Sunday James, Jack and I went kayaking at Chatfield, it was James’ first time in the kayak.

We grilled and chilled at home, took a nap, then took Biscuit to the vet (respiratory infection.) The girls should be home tomorrow just about the time we arrive at the hospital.

Dinners this week (not for me, obviously) – spaghetti with sausage and garlic bread, beef stroganoff with peas, pork chops and acorn squash, grilled cheese with tomato soup, vegetable soup, out, grill.

Pork and acorn squash

6 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
2 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon orange juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

Place pork chops in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add squash. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; pour over squash. Cook, covered, on low 4-6 hours or until pork is tender.