Friendship

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Michael, Mary, and Jesus came for a visit! The weather was warm enough to go without a sweater, the food and company so good. Juniper and Jesus were best pals, eating from the same plate, drinking from the same bowl, playing in their odd way. In one of those mind benders, the time spent together over a mere twenty-four hours morphed into a jolly few days of activity. We grilled, puzzled, chatted, laughed and laughed, walked, shopped, and ate and ate and ate.

It is an old refrain, but dang, what would we do without the support and company of our very best friends? I will never stop marveling at my wonderful circle of loved ones. With them, I may not be able to understand a world of war and poverty and senselessness, but I can certainly feel less alone in it, embraced in warmth and joy.

Farmer Greg broke out the big guns this year, buying a grow mat (the basement floor is very cold) and a light. There were a few seeds that never sprouted and a couple that did, then died, but overall, it’s been a successful start. He’s growing several varieties of pepper, tomato, nasturtium, ground cherry, beans, fennel, and zucchini. It is very exciting to watch!

We are nearly finished with our spring garden clean-up, with the front yard remaining, though it will be (or just seem) like ages before everything is well and truly green. There are leaves budding on the rose and fern bush, nascent lilac blooms, tulips and daffodils popping up and a lone pasque in full flower, which is always such a treat to witness.

The chickadees have made a nest in the bird house again, and I love their earnest endeavor to make it safe and cozy, mom and pop darting to and fro with every manner of material. We are all connected in our own little worlds, so sweet.

Hope this April day is a fine one in your neck of the woods…

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…

Some recent hikes in the great outdoors of Colorado Springs! Gosh, is it pretty right now, everything verdant and Colorado lush (a rainforest, we are not).

We spent this past weekend with our friend Jeff, eating like royalty, with Greg grilling burgers, and going all out at our mutual favorite 503 W. There was much game playing, of course (Letters from White Chapel, Fistful of Meeples, and an Exit game), lively conversation, chilling on the back porch, walking the dog, listening to our favorite tunes, while generally reveling in each other’s fine company. Living the life…

Hello friends! How excited I am to say Spring has well and truly arrived. I am wearing dresses and sandals and my new favorite hat in great celebration. What a long, cold winter. Coupled with wretched COVID, it felt like years rather than months.

We’ve been doing more normal activities, like going to cherished restaurants, and eating in-person at our favorite food cart, which feels like such a treat after so much home cooking.

The garden is really coming to life, too. I’m doing a ton of planting and mulching (we had 10 yards deliverd!), an hour or two a day. This is both to replace plants killed by the horrible deep freeze and slowly fill in brown gaps in need of green and flower. I’ll show you pictures once it is all done. Maybe this weekend, as I’ll have Greg’s hands, as well as my own to finish. Juniper just lolls about and occasionally digs holes where she ought not. She is a dog, after all.

One of my favorite person’s tasks at his new job was to write a bio to accompany a photo, so we did a proper photo shoot. Isn’t he just so handsome? Greg Cooper, you are a looker!

Green mertensia and Juniper giving her best sniff.

The lamb’s ears are really starting to spread their wings.

The daphne bloomed! Hot diggity dog! This will always be the scent of Portland for me. Kinda like Froot Loops, only better.

blueberry scone goodness

Pike’s Peak peek…

Muskrat sighting!

Indian chicken – I combined a Patak’s Vindaloo curry paste with some mango chutney and water, and let the drumsticks braise in the liquid until done. I love it when something SO easy tastes SO wonderful!

I am rather sad to report that this is not my lilac in bloom here. Ours seems to be the only one in the neighborhood that got ravaged by the deep freeze. Luckily, it still has a bit of green on it, so I will prune the heck out of it and hope for it to flower next year.

She sure loves her Pops!

Hi there, and happy Tuesday. It’s a jolly morning in my little office. Linda Ronstadt – Mas Canciones – is on the hi-fi, uplifting and beautiful, if ever there was. Si! Si!

How cute is my sun catcher of a pooch, all sleepy eyed on another day?

fern bush
pasque flower
silver buffalo berry

The garden awakens, bud to leaf to flower, and it never ceases to amaze, so much that disappears every fall comes alive again!

Unicorn left alone. Greg, Juniper, and I, on our morning walk, spied it from a distance. Me thinking, from an entirely different angle, mind you, that it was a human (it was a rather large unicorn), engaged in yoga stretches. When it became obvious a body couldn’t maintain such stillness, and we got a little closer, the truth was revealed.

Given the choice, I am a waffle over pancake person, every single time. There’s no replicating that crispness, perfect pockets screaming for butter and syrup. I’d make pancakes, however, out of sheer necessity. Waffles take time, one by one by one. UNTIL! Until I, searching online for a second waffle maker, stumbled upon this one that makes TWO at a time. Fancy! It looks a bit like what Darth Vader and the Empire would use to get a jump on feeding all those darn Storm Troopers. Black and red, and all. The waffles themselves are mighty fine, too.

This morning, on our a.m. stroll, we saw one of our favorite dog runners take a selfie, utterly seamless in efficiency. Sit down on rock, adorable pooch jumps up, snap photo, with, bonus, Pike’s Peak in background! Insert seriously cool guy sound effect.

Hey Buddy, let’s do what that guy did! We can selfie, right?? Well, my friends, this is what happened before Juniper jumped down and refused to return. I thought I’d share it in the let’s keep-it-real vibe. Keep on keeping on. And much laughter to you, too.

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