Saturday, April 25, 2009

How I Spent My Birthday........

Originally written the evening of April 25th......


So, Louise, my dear friend, whose love language is so obviously gifts..........she specializes in gifts that resemble acts of service.......called me this morning and told me to meet her at her house about 11:30-ish so I could follow her to our destination. She said for all of us to wear flip flops.....swim suits and to bring beach towels. With a high of only 61* expected.........she said 65*......I was a bit scared........but I obeyed.......and brought a sweatshirt, too!



So, we left the house........and on the way.........it was the start of........






........ a very good birding day! The kids said it was because it was my birthday.......and all of the birds came out for me, to celebrate.



First, we watched a Great Blue Heron soar and then land......but I did not get my camera out in time. Then, above you see the next bird. We think it was a kestral hawk. We saw it again......or another one later over the lake. On the way to the lake, we found the Snowy White Egret we discovered in the marsh the other day..........this is only the second time since we have lived here.....20 years.........that I have seen an egret in the area.





Not sure what bird this was.........I think it was the heron......Matthew took the picture.


So, we arrived at our hometown lake.........where we have not been since last September. Where it is often too cold to go to in April. It was a sunny day, and comfortable enough........but for that wind. The wind chill factor definitely brought our temp down. But, it was tolerable enough.....and Louise set out a delicious picnic............she remembers everything.......it is her way. There was pastrami, of course, and cheeses, other deli meat, two kinds of mustard, mayo, bakery bread, 4 or 5 kind of chips, a homemade pasta salad, sliced tomatoes, avocados, pickles, sodas, waters........and cookies, cupcakes & gummy bears!

While we ate, Miranda, Louise's daughter, almost 6 years old, and Malachy explored down by the water. We just shared conversation......and enjoyed having the entire beach to ourselves......it kind of felt like we were on a deserted island. :)






Garrett, Louise, Sarah, Malachy & Miss Miranda walked down to the lake.......to discover the driftwood treasures along the shore. Nice view, eh?







This is "our" lake.........the kids have grown up here........Malachy & Miranda have always known this lake......and will grow up here, too........and so will Miranda's little brother........who is due to join the family sometime at the end of July, early August.....hopefully before I need to take a road trip to San Francisco!




This was one of the uninvited guests at my birthday picnic........they were so well-behaved today! They never barged into our party. I am actually one of those people who enjoys gulls. We also saw cormorants flying over the lake several times..........and once, I think I saw a bald eagle......it sure looked like one..........but I am not sure they camp out near this area.
























Maddelyn and Anne showed up a bit late......because Anne was not ready to leave when it was time to go and she needed her own car in order to get to her play on time. This was our picnic base. Sarah made the cake........it was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.....my favorite!! The cake was oh-so good........so moist!! This is the best ever chocolate cake we have ever tried. It is our standard.........the one we always go back to.......and the one I have not left for a very long time. Mmmmmm.


******



Anne said Sarah wrote my name on the cake.......and then asked Anne how it looked. Apparently she had written C-a-r-i on the cake........Anne said: Who is Cari? I guess Sarah takes after me.........I am infamous in my family for my gigantic birthday banner for Tony which read: Happy Bithday!


















I saw Matthew standing, with this background, and had to have it memorialized. It was a beautiful day..........and Matthew loves this mountain........his mountain.

















It was definitely a bit chilly when that wind came up.........even the boys, Matthew & Garrett took shelter in the beach towels.

















Sarah loves......I mean really loves Louise. She thinks Louise is one of her most favorite people in the whole world. She is one of mine, too.

















And, not sure if it was the last bird of the day.....but there was this lone sandpiper at the shore.......he was very busy. I just sat and watched him for a bit.


Oh, of course, we also saw Canadian Geese, Stellar Jays, swallows, Western Scrub Jays and pigeons. :)


















The lake was painted with several different colors today.........can you see the subtle changes in colors in the above photo?


I know you can see the BIG volcano (it is actually two......both peaks are volcanoes)......do you see those two smaller bumps with snow to the right of the big mountain? That is where the ski park is located where the kids hang out all winter........as much as possible.........never enough!


















I took this shot and then Malachy threw a rock near him and he got up and flew around us and overhead for about fve minutes. He was so fun to watch. It was as if he put on a show for us of all of his flying skills. Miranda and Malachy and I sure enjoyed his show!


Anne & Maddelyn told me that the florist called and said they had flowers for me. They said I could pick them up on my way home from the lake......this is what was waiting for me!
















Aren't they sweet! They smell good, too! The card read:


















I sure hope they are from my husband! :) He is out of town for four days............and is so not into presents or birthdays..........so, if it is him.....I AM surprised! :) I guess I will find out on Monday........
We got home..........and I meant to take a nap............but I ended up posting my daybook........and then organizing all of the photos off my camera so I could delete them.......and start fresh.

Eventually, someone asked what was for dinner........and I said I was too tired to cook. Garrett asked what I would make if I was not too tired............I told him I had some pork steaks in the fridge. He said, "If I were to make the steaks, what would I do first?" So, I told him..........and then when they were in the oven.......he cut up red potatoes and seasoned them and tossed them in olive oil.........two trays! Then he followed this with washing lettuce and preparing all of the veggie toppings for the salad. He prepared a salad bar. He made a lovely three-course meal..........ALL>BY>HIMSELF! And, he is only twelve!


I am so proud of him..........it was all delicious.

Then.........I ended the day by coming here.......and journaling my day.


Time to go to bed.........just in case I actually work tomorrow! (I didn't! phew!) Oh, my! It is almost midnight!
Love & Blessings!

Chari

7 comments:

Anne (aussieannie) said...

Happy Birthday Chari dear! So it is the 25th, St Mark's feast day? It is also the eve of Our Lady of Good Counsel and one of the most beautiful marian miracles in Europe (the picture that flew from Albania to Italy) do you know if you were born after 3pm on that day? You would definately have been born on the 'eve' then!!

What a lovely day you have all had, I loved the photos!

Shawna said...

Oh, it sounds like it as a perfectly wonderful day! I so, so, so wished I could have been there. Love to you my friend on your birthday (or two days after!) I did remember you on your day, and said a prayer for you. Sounds like God heard!

Clare Marie-Therese Duroc said...

Happy birthday, Chari! Love you so much!

Chari said...

I count all three of you among the sweetest ladies I know. Now, if I could only figure out how to meet Anne in person. :) And, see Clare more frequently......or Shawna for that matter! :)

Thank you for the birthday wishes, all. Yep, Saint Mark's feast day!

I was born at 1:14 pm.......so, I do not make the EVE......but, I am going to guess God knew his timing. :)

I missed you, Shawna....thanks for the prayer! That's the best birthday gift!

Well, after flowers from my husband, of course! ;)

Clare, I love you, too! I love having FOUR daughters. :)

Thanks for coming to say hi......

Cay G. said...

Lovely, Chari.
I'm so glad you had such a beautiful April day to celebrate.

Love you!

Woman of Faith said...

Chari-I just realized I have all of your kids' birthdates, but didn't have your's. I'm sorry (I have it now!). We just got back into town. I am so glad you had a wonderful birthday! You so deserve it. Louise rocks for having such great ideas.

HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY!
Love,
Frances

Chari said...

Thank you, Cay, and Frances!

Thank you, Cay for my birthday thread! We are even for one more year. :)

And, Frances, it was nice to see you again today.......hurry and get all of your trip blogging done! I am waiting!

PS Louise DOES rock! You know it! :)