What’s Been Happening Around Here

The last time we got together

for a book discussion we had read Traveling in Southern France which I wrote a little about here.

I mentioned that an old time (not OLD old) member had moved away and we had a new baby.  Unfortunately for us, Amanda had the baby and she’s the one who moved away, so we no longer have Amanda or a baby!

Dianne's newest grandbaby

Dianne’s newest grandbaby

Amanda and baby at yoga class

Amanda and baby at yoga class

Amanda happens to be Dianne’s daughter

so baby Eva is Dianne’s most recent granddaughter!  All will soon be fine again because Brianne is expecting—so more babies (baby I mean).

Now Dianne has stayed busy.  Right before she went to visit and took the photos above we met at the Highlands Tavern in Denver for her 60th birthday celebration!

No book to discuss--just birthday lunch and cake to eat

No book to discuss–just birthday lunch and cake to eat

You can’t see it down there on the end (by Dianne on the left)


Jean baked a scratch cake AND it was chocolate.

It was so delicious that after we sent the waitress back to the kitchen with a piece she came back and copied Jean’s phone number so she could get the recipe.  That adorable girl on the right is not in book club but we were thrilled to have her join us; she’s a budding entrepreneur and told us all about plans to expand her mom Laura’s (front left) gluten free bakery business.

Celeste gets out to lunch where she won't have to clean up after all of us!

Celeste gets out to lunch where she won’t have to clean up after all of us!

Here are Celeste (L) and Dianne (R) –aren’t they gorgeous?  How old/young is your book club?  Do you have any babies around?

Jean’s High Altitude Chocolate Cake

Quick, Moist Chocolate Cake/ High Altitude Recipe
From Mrs. Haney of North Denver, mother of 10  (1980’s)

2 c. flour
1 3/4 c.  sugar
2 tsp. soda (or slight bit less)
1/4 or 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. oil
1 c. buttermilk  (can make your own by putting about 3 tbsp. lemon juice
or vinegar in 2% or whole or even skim milk–let sit 4 minutes)
2 eggs (or 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white)
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. baking cocoa
Mix and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes in a 9 X 12 greased and floured baking pan.
(Batter may seem thinner than other cake batters with the water and oil, but it comes out great!)
The Denver Post had a similar recipe in 1990, and added the following baking variations:
bake 2  9-inch round pans in 375 oven 30 minutes,    OR  cupcakes for 20 minutes.


Consecrated Virgin Living in the World Featured in Denver Catholic Register!!

Consecrated Virgin Living in the World Featured in Denver Catholic Register!!

Our book club member Celeste Thomas at her Consecration Mass at Denver’s Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception 10 years ago.

Read more about it here!

A Night in Provence–Twice

We are a book club that reads Catholic Women Authors.  Read more about it here.

Two Months, One Book and One Essay

We were meant to gather in September and discuss A Traveller in Southern France by Christine Kaferly while eating Provencial cuisine.  We got off track though when some of us didn’t pick up the book in time and others were already finishing it up.  So Celeste recommended a superb article by pro-life activist Juli Wiley, titled “Jesus’ Genealogy: The Woman Problem.”

October 2013

October 2013

Plenty of French Food

Nevertheless when we arrived at book club in September many were prepared to discuss A Traveller and had fixed up some yummy French food.

When we assembled again in October to finally talk about the book lo and behold we ended up with plenty of dishes from the south of France.

I'm sauteing some Spinach

I’m sauteing some Spinach

Laurence and Gwen cook it up

Laurence and Gwen cook it up

Laurence's Leek Soup

Laurence’s Leek Soup

It was all extremely good and nobody minded.  Laurence grew up in France and made us an Eggplant Souffle and Leek Soup respectively.  I took the fresh vegetable route and cooked up some spinach and garlic that I topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Since I have a lot of time to make up for I’ll be back soon with news of a new baby, a beloved member who moved away (mom of the new baby) and a really new baby who is yet on the way!  There might be more news I haven’t thought of yet too.  And oh yes, I will comment more on the essay and the book.

A Day With Immaculée


Laurence and Dianne on retreat with Immaculée

I flew to Sacramento a few days ago to visit my aunt.  It’s really been a nice visit. 

The Eldorado Hills area in this part of California is beautiful, and the weather is pretty much perfect right now.  The nights are around 60 degrees and the days have been rather warm but not super hot.  Unlike Colorado there is rarely any wind or rain or clouds (until winter that is).

I was surprised after I arrived here to find this photo in my email.

  I knew Immaculée Ilibagiza was going to be in Denver while I was gone and I wished I could be there to see her. 

However I had NO idea Dianne and Laurence were going to be there!

Immaculée is one of our favorite authors, considering we’ve read 3 out of 3 of her books; something we rarely do.  I think we read 2 of Sigrid Undset’s massive epics, one a trilogy (Kristin Lavransdatter) and the other a 4 volume series (Master of Hestviken)!

However we’ve read 3 of Immaculee’s books just for book club!  That is pretty remarkable for a 13 year old book club.  Last year this blog was linked up to Brandon Vogt’s Catholic Speaker 2012 post, and I featured an “Sort-of Interview” with Immaculée for that post.

I wish I had more time to add all the wonderful insights we gained from her books and appearances in Denver.  But , alas, I have to get ready fly home on standby in the morning and I have to add a post to my blog sometime!!

In the meantime read more about our Lady of Kibeho here and here.  Also see her speak about the genocide of abortion here.

So enjoy, and look for Immaculée’s new book soon: The Rosary Saved My Life.  I can’t WAIT to read that one.