Monday, January 30, 2023

Snow Day!

Snow Day! When you see below that Papa ventured forth into 9-degree weather for some "outdoor time," you may wonder, "what did he do?" The answer is... He watched the final three episodes of "@DownieLive Travels by Train: America." Rail fans, check it out! Mike Downie covers a ten-week trip from Florida to Alaska by train (mostly), all kinds of trains. Jamie's brief intro with a link to Mike's videos is here.

Snow Day activities...

A record: 9 degrees.

Those little balls are graupel.

Forever Family

Tracy, Matt, and Serafina attended the adoption ceremony today for their first foster care child about 3 years ago. Congratulations to the Cromars!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Nana and Papa got back from Cripple Creek in time to start an epic day of football. The Chiefs won the NFC Championship and will play the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. And Nana whipped up the best baba ganoush so far (decades of trying, see below). By evening, Monday's school was to be a 2-hour delay. By the next morning (1/30/23), the school day was canceled altogether for cold temperatures. Our outdoor thermometer read -6F Monday morning.

This is what greeted Nana and Papa
upon their return from Cripple Creek.

Nana made a great Baba Ganoush. She's been after the
right recipe ever since the Olive Tree's baba in Tucson.
We'd go to Tucson every year when we had the jewelry
store for the big gem and mineral show in February.
That was decades ago and the Olive Tree is no longer there.
The magic is here.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Butte Theater, Cripple Creek, CO

Nana and Papa dropped AJ at ballet class at about noon then headed on to Cripple Creek (about a 90-minute drive from home). It was just an overnight trip with the main event being a show at the Butte Theater: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. This was part of their Community Theater season, and they did a great job. It's something of a dark play peppered with plenty of funny moments. We picked a place to stay right downtown so that everything was within easy walking distance. All the photos are here.

We discovered Alchemy (in Old Colorado City)
on the way up to Cripple Creek for lunch.
They had a really fun Almond Joy cocktail.
And the sauces with Lynn's pretzels were fabulous.

Cripple Creek's main drag. It's mostly casinos.

We discovered The Creek for dinner.
I'll have the bison top sirloin, please!
It's a small place, get reservations.

The main event.

Our hotel was the red/green one on the right:
Century Casino & Hotel Cripple Creek

That's Cripple Creek down there. This view is a few miles
away along Highway 67 back to Divide, CO.

Hungry Bear Restaurant in Woodland Park.
Very homey. Huge selection. Excellent prices. We both loved it.

We had beautiful, but cold weather while in Cripple Creek.
Colorado Springs had snow.
We saw the top of the storm from above
while in Woodland Park. By the time we were down near
Manitou Springs, we were fully in the storm.

Lexi Basketball

The day started out with a very nice sunrise light on Pikes Peak. Then it was off to an 8am basketball game for Lexi's team at the YMCA in Monument. Later that morning, AJ beat Papa in a game of Chess (sorry, no pic). He's been watching/studying chess videos.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Cheap Date, Etc.

The school week culminated with Family Dinner (topic: Joseph) and Cheap Date Improv! In the meantime, the Great Shift of 2023 continues, Jonny makes a batch of chocolate chip cookies, more puzzles get put together, and Matt cooks beef stew.

New bed and frame in Lexi/Jonny's old room (3rd level).

The TV in the 3rd-floor lounge area was moved.

Jonny wanted to make chocolate chip cookies.

He made a huge one for himself! Nirvana!

It was a particularly good beef stew.

Cheap Date Improv!
Fina: "Touch the grass!" (You had to be there.)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

A Birthday Week

Tracy's birthday was this week. I think there were more kids (and adults) at home sick than were at school this week. With everyone sick, it was something of a sparse celebration, but Nana managed to make German Pancakes for a birthday breakfast, a real Tracy favorite. She found a new recipe that's easier and works even better than the previous one. Do remember to use powdered sugar on top, not flour! The Great Shift of 2023 continues with Lexi and Jonny moving into their new room (Matt's ex-office). Lexi's basketball schedule has resumed. The snow continues and the Chiefs won their first playoff game. Family dinner was this Saturday evening and the topic was paganism.

By the way... I keep feeling bad about not updating my Christmas movie list (last posted in 2016), so to assuage my guilt a bit, there's a Christmas movie list of over 1,000 titles on IMDB.

Fina made cupcakes for Family Dinner.
Tracy's favorite flavor!

We've not tried this one before from
Hunt Cellars. Quite good!

Not at all sure what's going on here.

Lexi and Jonny's new room.

Lexi's basketball at the YMCA.

More snow...

Chiefs won!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Baking, Joseph, and the Great Shift of 2023

Not so many pics, but lots went on this past weekend...

Very excited about Pazookie baking!

AJ made Dump Cake for Family Dinner
Friday night. The topic: hell.

AJ, Nana, and Papa thoroughly enjoyed Joseph
and the Technicolor Dreamcoat produced by Starz.
They had dinner at BJ's beforehand which
prompted the Pazookie happening.

Four boys made a Pazookie! A big one!

The Great Shift of 2023. Matt's office is moving to the
third-floor landing. Lexi and Jonnie are moving into Matt's
ex-office. Leaving a bedroom for expansion...

The Pazookie crew.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

It's UCCS!

A school has been chosen! Fina is going to UCCS (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) this Fall. So, the countdown to move-in has begun, and there's a paper chain to prove it. Milestones along the way are labeled along the chain (e.g. high school graduation, birthday, opening night, etc.).

Friday, January 6, 2023

First Few Days of 2023

Tracy got 2 or 3 puzzles done over the break. The whiteboard kept everyone posted on what each day brought, including "Go Thunder!" on the first day back to school. While at the Club for Lexi's Taekwondo class, Jonnie and Lexi discovered that the Grill has finally brought back pretzels, big and tasty ones. Remember, Lexi got a belt promotion right before Christmas (see Dec. 16)! AJ started dance classes at the Colorado Ballet Society. His first class was Broadway Dance. And yes, the new muscles the class discovered hit him about 24 hours later. And tomorrow he starts Men's Ballet. Our Family Dinner topic this Friday night was "What does 'take God's name in vain' mean?" and the menu included a baked potato bar, French baguettes and butter, and apple crumble with ice cream for dessert. The adults' favorite TV show these days is "House." And as of today, I'd say >80% of Christmas decorations are put away.

Fina helping AJ with his "new" muscles.