Greetings From the Centennial State!

I’m in Colorado! I came to visit my sister Sarah and her family for the long Memorial Day weekend. I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, and it’s been a fun-filled few days, full of smart choices and restraint.

First, a health update: I’m healing quite well. The only real issue that I have to contend with is a giant, very uncomfortable hematoma that formed after the surgery. A hematoma is an internal pooling of blood, commonly in the form of a bruise, but this is much worse than a bruise, and in a very delicate area. I’m smart about it by wearing supportive clothing and not pushing myself physically, and there’s nothing I can do to speed up its healing, so I just have to live with it.

Anyhoo… I arrived in Colorado on Saturday morning, and as soon as we got back to Sarah’s house, we turned around and headed out for a walk. There’s a reservoir nearby, and walking to it, around it, and coming back equals about 2 miles. Here I am on the walk with Sarah and my niece (and Goddaughter) Allison:

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I was a little hesitant to go for the walk, as I was not even two weeks post-surgery, but we went at a leisurely pace and it actually felt really good, especially after 2.5 hours on a plane. It also wore me out. But there wasn’t tons of time to rest, because later that afternoon we headed out to the Boulder Creek Festival: a giant street fair, art fair and music festival rolled into one. I was in town this weekend a year ago, and this Festival is where I rode an insane spinning carnival ride called the Hi Roller. They didn’t have the Hi Roller this year, and even though another ride caught my eye, I decided it might be a little much for my midsection at the moment.

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That thing looks fun, doesn’t it? (The correct answer is ‘yes.’)

We hung out for a while near the area where kids can swordfight with foam swords, axes and daggers. My nephew Sam is 7 years old, and, naturally, it’s his favorite part of the Festival. Here’s Sam and me on a nearby grassy slope overlooking the creek:

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There was tons of carnival food all over the place: corn dogs, funnel cake, nachos, churros. There was also another section where local restaurants sent up booths, and this area had more variety, and I even found a couple healthy (or healthier) options, including a greek salad with tzatziki, a cucumber/yogurt sauce, on the side…

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…and 2 pupusas, one spinach/cheese, and the other chicken/cheese:

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Pupusas are a dish from El Salvador, and they’re thick corn tortillas (although made with a coarser corn meal than I’m used to) that have a thin filling in the middle and are cooked on a griddle. They’re served with salsa and a fermented cabbage slaw (kinda like kimchi or sauerkraut), and they’re delicious. I shared this with my sister and our friend Lauren, and I also tried a couple steamed dumplings that my niece and nephew love.

The next day, we headed to a different Festival, this one outside Colorado Springs, about 90 minutes away. It was the Meadowgrass Music Festival, which focuses on bluegrass and Americana music. It was in a big field and I would say the biggest single demographic in attendance were hippies.

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Sarah and her husband Justin have all sorts of great camping/outdoorsy gear, so we staked out an area in the grass, set up chairs and a blanket, and had a fun afternoon, wandering around to check out the vendors, playing a beanbag game, and listening to the music. We brought a cooler bag full of sandwich stuff, so lunch was a kick-ass turkey sandwich:

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There was plenty of food temptation at this Festival, too – my nephew Sam got an item called a “bacon cone,” which is basically a paper cone filled with tempura-fried bacon and served with a maple chili sauce. That’s right – deep-fried bacon. I tried a piece, and it was good, but the thought of eating an entire order made me a little queasy. What I really wanted was a giant bag of kettle corn, but I avoided it, and instead had half a bag (about 50 calories worth) of popcorn that Justin had brought with us.

Another picture of Allison and me:

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On the way home, we stopped for gas at the worst-named gas and convenience store ever:

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Believe me, I thought of about 2 dozen dirty jokes based on this name, and I even tweeted one!

Today was more low-key. We took a walk to the supermarket, about a 1/2 mile away, to buy ingredients for a healthy quinoa and black bean salad, and then Sarah and I made the salad:

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It has black beans, corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, and green onions, and a light dressing made of vinegar, lime juice, olive oil (only three tablespoons in the whole recipe), and cumin.

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It’s based on this recipe, with a big modification: quinoa instead of couscous.

We also all headed out to the movies to see “Epic,” which my nephew and niece liked, but I didn’t love. We got back and threw some chicken breasts and corn-on-the-cob on the grill to go with our salad, and that’s been my trip in a nutshell!

I’m glad we took a few walks – it bodes well for another trip (an international trip!) that I have coming up in about a week. I’ll share more about that trip soon… and be sure to check out my next post, which will highlight a new food product that I’m so flippin’ excited about. Seriously, folks, I haven’t been this excited about a pantry item in a loooong time! Any guesses what it is?

Keep it up, David!

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4 Responses to Greetings From the Centennial State!

  1. WebPixie says:

    I can’t remember if a warm compress or if it’s a cold compress will help the hematoma, but you might want to give it a Google and see.

  2. Nurse Karen says:

    If your incision area is *not* open: Soak in a bathtub of warm water, 2 tablespoons dried sage, 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 2 tbsp. dried, 4 cups strong green tea, and 1 1/2 cups Epsom’s Salts for at least twenty minutes. At least do the Epsom’s Salts. Candlelight & Bubbles optional, yet fun & relaxing. Soaking helps reduce the swelling by increasing circulation; the salts contain magnesium which helps to relieve pain.
    Normally with fresh hematomas we use “R.I.C.E.” {Rest, Ice Compression Elevation} but you’re dealing with old blood, hence the warmth to take away the old, and infuse the area with macrophages to lessen chance of infection. Our bodies are marvels of self-healing when we take care of them. Bright Blessings!

  3. Val Scott says:

    Loved the quinoa salad. My husband and I made it last night.
    I took a trip with my kids when they were teenagers through Ontario Canada one year and they were getting the giggles from the strange names they had for gas station companies. They lost it when we went by one called Beaver Gas.

  4. SarahGarcia77@yahoo.com says:

    I had so much fun when you were here. Come back soon!!

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