Celebrating

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elderberry flowers
Does anyone else remember Bert Cooper on Mad Men asking a whiskey person if they had any Spirit of Elderflower? Hilarious…
Oh, the sky!!
Red hot poker – they took a beating with the deep freeze, with hardly any coming up or blooming. Sad face.

First kohlrabi of the season, huzzah!! We like them roasted, in soup or salad, salad rolls, pretty much anyway we can get them. Plus, how cute is Farmer Greg?!

Speaking of Farmer Greg – he turned fifty! Looking good Mr. Half Century!

I made banana chocolate chip cake with banana frosting to celebrate. It was wonderful!

We also went out for burgers and a shingles shot because we REALLY know how to party. If you’re over fifty and haven’t been vaccinated against shingles, giddy-up and go. Seriously, for your very own sake. Unless your sores ooze in a public place (eew), you can’t give it to anyone, but goll-ee does it sound like a nightmare. I’ve heard horror stories of people not being able to tolerate a sheet on their body because of the pain. You can also have permanent nerve damage (ouch!) and multiple recurrences. No, thank you.

Mary and Michael visited us last weekend! How wonderful it was to be together without quarantining beforehand and then hope no one was asymptomatic, as we are all fully vaccinated. So many shots this year, oof. Did I mention we got our tetanus updated, too?

Jesus chills while we puzzle, of course. He’s an old man (almost fifteen!), but is as cute as when he was a puppy and very tolerant of Juniper wanting to romp.

Butterfly cherry pie! We grew all the cherries! Heck yeah…

Sunflower parting shot, ours are sure going like gangbusters this year…

When I gardened in Portland, I could generally expect plants to reach their potential the year after putting them into the ground. Here in Colorado Springs, it takes a good three years for plants to equal that size and maturity. How different life is in the high desert, with our house perched at a majestic 7000 feet. But, alas, it does happen, and this is THE year! The garden, and the peonies in particular, are the best they’ve ever been, with giant beautiful blossoms currently bursting. I am taking in the scent of my favorite coral charm, on my birthday, of all wondrous days. The one, this year, that I turned FIFTY.

We celebrated with a trip to Mirch Masala and the i-Cool rolled ice cream spot because that is exactly what I was craving. At 50, I really know what I do and do not want, and have no qualms about expressing myself.

I have found that I am more at peace than I have ever been, on every level. I know what I can and cannot control in my life, what is worthy of fussing over, and what is best left ignored (annoying neighbors and stressful news on the very top of the list). A new level of freedom, truly.

I have also made peace with my body, realizing how perfect it once was with me utterly blind to it, to recognizing its current state with deep affection. The softer belly, sturdy legs coupled with weaker knees, strong arms, eyes blurry close-up and wholly capable of spying movement far afield, and feet that prefer solid orthotics. Oh, and the wrinkles and thousands of grey hairs weaving a mystical topographic map of my wondrous life of adventure.

Most of all, you will not be surprised to read, I remain luckiest in love. Greg is the best partner, friend, and cuddler I could ever have conjured with a magic wand. Our life together is one for the ages.

We celebrated my Mom’s 72nd birthday with a weekend of fun at our house. Pizza, waffles, prickly pear margaritas to accompany a Tex-Mex BBQ of epic proportions, four varieties of homemade ice cream (peanut butter & chocolate, mixed berry, walnut {the most popular!}, and coffee), and a wicked good triple-decker strawberry frosted birthday cake, modeled by my fabulous nephew Tyler.

The Grandma Tess celebration rose is festooned with hundreds of blossoms and smells divine!
horehound
potentilla
budding goldenrod & wild bee house

As promised, our newly mulched and planted garden. The rain came right after Greg got all of the meat off the grill, with some wild torrents and furious waves of baby hail (no damage, woot!) before turning rather lovely and Portland-like for the better part of the next two days. Heavenly.

Juniper squeezing in amongst the columbine.

Our first official butterfly sighting in the garden. Here’s hoping it is a banner year!

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P.S.

A sincere note of gratitude to the best man I know (GREG!!) for replacing my computer’s power supply. You make this blog possible, and I super appreciate it.

Gyorgy “George” Taposik

S.S. Pisa

Hello Saturday!

It’s a gorgeous and not freezing day here. To steal a line from religious folk I’ve seen on the T.V. – Can I get an Amen?! I feel 100% grateful to have not lost power during that wretched stretch of sub-zero temperatures. What a nightmare to hear of friends shivering at 40 degrees indoors. Hoping they are feeling some much needed warmth!

And speaking of cold places, last weekend I made my first ever batch of runzas. They are a solidly Russian / Eastern European delight of ground beef, cabbage (which turned so blue!), onion, and cheese (sharp cheddar in our case). I also added caraway seeds, because when in Rome, right? They’re like the best hot pocket you can imagine, and can be done a million ways, just roll out the dough and fill them with whatever you fancy. Or, for the lazy or otherwise overwhelmed, head over to the Runza restaurant site, and they’ll ship some to you!

As we were enjoying them, I thought on my Grandma Tess’s father Gyorgy. He emigrated from Jenkovce, Slovakia (Austria at the time) in 1900 on the S.S. Pisa, at the ripe age of 18, with a whopping $2.50 in his pocket (about $70 today). He was a coal miner in and around Springfield, Illinois for the rest of his life and, rather sadly, died of black lung. I imagined him feasting on a runza, this simple all-in one in its own container, while down in the mine; the delicious, fortifying comfort of home.

In a further nod to the Taposik side of my family, when I was little, my Grandma Tess had this Bissel sweeper. I have many a memory of its delightful back and forth whir. I hadn’t thought about it in some time when I saw the Fuller model Greg is using pictured in the Vermont Country Store catalog. My mind got to clicking as I thought on Juniper’s wild riot of dog hair all over the hard woods. Would it work? It was surely worth a try. So I bought it. Wowie!! It’s pretty dreamy and way better than dragging out the noisy vacuum. So thanks Grandma, for the memories and the help! I love you.

Hi from me to you! It’s a mighty cold day in our parts. So much so that the heat, at 12:26 p.m. is still droning on in an initial attempt to get the house to 68 degrees. Additionally, we have yet to walk the dog because we’d like it to be over 15 degrees outside when we do. How people in truly cold climes ever leave the house is a wonder. But there is a lovely powdered sugar sprinkle of snow out and the birds are singing, so there’s a bit of joy. Always true. Always.

Above is a sweet box of fun sent to some dear friends in Maine! They’ve already received it, so the surprise is not being spoiled. They got bars of my latest soaps, along with home made lip and hand balms, and, of course, some cute acorns! The oaks are still giving, so I am too. I did not make the sage smudger, however. I may try, but really cannot do it all.

And Beth (one of my Maine friends), I finally watched the GoGo’s documentary you recommended. I hope I didn’t already tell you. It was super and rockin’ and sad and brought me fondly back to Denice Romero’s house in 7th grade. Sweet sigh. We are also about two-thirds finished with Twin Peaks 2.0 from 2017. I wish I could find the circa 2000 (I think?) picture I took of Beth standing in front of the RR Cafe, very sad faced, because it had recently been a victim of arson and we could partake of neither pie nor coffee.

Anyhoo, we are rather enjoying the series in it’s ultimate David Lynch-ness. The absurdity, wit, and wisdom. I highly recommend it to anyone even further behind the what’s-new-in-the-world curve. Better late than never, eh?

Home made almond milk. A bit of a painstaking process to get the skins off, but worth treating our tender tummies right.

Dutch baby, oh! Made with the remaining almond meal after making milk. Embracing the nose-to-tail ethos of the nut world.

I learned a new game! Star Realms is relatively quick and easy, yet still challenges my brain.

Pizza (and cola!) was the first meal after our January reset. Delicious. Dessert was chocolate chip cookies, which were shared with neighbors and otherwise gobbled down, pronto.

We’ve had freezing fog twice over the past week. How beautiful to wake up to it! How my face hurt from the cold!

These bits of gorgeousness are a spicy coleslaw, corn bread (with more almond meal!), and a jalapeno and hot honey glazed smoked pork chop made in celebration of…..

THIRTY YEARS together! Yup. This past Tuesday marked the big 3-0 since our first date at the Old Chicago in Fort Collins. Which, after consulting the map, is nowhere near where we ate on College Avenue way back when. Times change, peeps.

Even our love has changed. We’ve grown up, moved house three times, traveled thousands upon thousands of miles; shed what was holding us back from even greater love; laughed, hugged, and cuddled. And goll-ee, that’s just a wee scratch on the surface of our everything together. I will absolutely not say it has been easy, though mostly so, only because we laid such strong foundations way back when – forged of honesty, patience, and ever so much kindness. So when the wind and earthquakes and wretchedness have shook us, we’ve come out largely unscathed. Together.

Y A Y U S ! !

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