Celebrating

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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 ! !

At Last…

Oh my, what a day, what a day, what a day! I spent much of it jubilant and sobbing at all that has come to pass. A WOMAN vice-president! A peaceful transfer of power! The sun shining on this great nation’s capitol! The hope of generations to strengthen our fragile democracy, with truth and justice, and a sprinkling of joy! God Bless America….

BBQ drummies, corn, and blue cheese mashed potatoes. We eat well!

Juniper’s monthly bath (shower, actually) day landed on a very cold day.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Since they were all the rage when I was a kid, I have loved ceramic Christmas trees. Aside from damaged ones at the thrift store, I’d never seen them for purchase. The holiday decorating gods must have sensed my need because I received a catalog from the Vermont Country Store, and voila! They have them in multiple sizes, white or evergreen, and you can buy different “lights,” too. I chose the holly leaves and am pleased as punch. They also have bayberry scented candles, and we’ve been jammin’ on the nostalgic scent of Christmas every night since it arrived.

Peggy, my best friend from Pittsburgh, sent me cookies! They’re from Cheryl’s and positively delicious, too. She will also be delighted to see that we’re doing a little puzzling (a toughie comprised of house plants leaves) while eating them. Thank you friend! Love you LOTS…

Happy Birthday to my Grandma Tess, who would be 98 today!

Hello! Belated Thanksgiving greetings to my fellow celebrants. The above photo is not our Thanksgiving feast, but very delicious nonetheless: roasted red pepper and tomato soup, velvety grits, and paprika laced Oregon shrimp. It’s an easy ensemble, coming together so very quickly.

With COVID cases skyrocketing with a ruthless efficiency, we’ve been staying home even more and daydreaming about favorite restaurants and times when so many weren’t on the brink of closure. It’s just so horrible. How I wish for a magic wand to make this nightmare end.

But the vaccines are coming! Praying they will be equally ruthless in their efficiency so people can get out of food lines and back to their lives. A-M-E-N!

My favorite cutie pies waiting on me…

Menu for days and our Thanksgiving in a nutshell. We ate early and quite well, finished a puzzle of the good ole USA, and watched Tootsie, which, after seeing it in the theater when it came out (I was ELEVEN), was a bit new and fun and a marvelous nod to feminism. A great way to round out another perfect Colleen and Greg day!

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