Sunday, July 3, 2016

Birthdays, cheesecakes, and abundance in the garden

We packed so much into this week, I got dizzy preparing the photos for this blog post.  The most important event, of course, was my husband Steve's birthday - the big 50.  He's now half a century old, he has no grey hairs (except three and a half in his beard), and he is not bothered by turning older.  It's not fair.  Maybe I shall have his midlife crisis for him.

My man is incredible.  Not only is he the kindest, least judgemental, supportive guy, but he also can out-work any 20 year old young guy.  Plus, he's incredibly handsome, don't you think?

We had a party at our homestead with a bunch of our close friends and neighbors, talked around a campfire, included another little friend's birthday celebration, and ate tons of good food.

The day after, I made him a cheesecake from my own Chevre, because it's his favorite, and because we didn't feel like sharing it with lots of people since everyone only would have gotten a tiny slice.  Instead, we just shared it with his parents, who had flown in from Minnesota to help us celebrate.

Eva and I decorated the cake with raspberries and flowers from the garden - a rose and edible borage flowers.

Steve and his Mom, and Luke's grubby fingers heading for the cheesecake.

Steve and his Dad, while opening birthday presents.

Talking of raspberries: We picked them at the Cascadian Farm U-Pick field, just a few miles down the road.  There is no more scenic place to pick, and afterwards, you can reward yourself with ice cream.

It's wonderful to have Steve's parents here.  They win the best-grandparents-in-the-world award, since they LIVE for them and love nothing more than spending time with them and giving them their full attention.

Eva, for example, has claimed Grandma for herself.  They bond painting Eva's nails, sorting through jewelry, and playing with Eva's little wobblehead figures.

While we celebrate, play and bond, we also eat like kings and queens.  All our hard work in the spring has payed off, and we now eat whole meals out of the garden.  Last night, we strolled through and picked new potatoes, carrots, beets, kale, collards and lettuce, and made these into a gourmet meal, adding fresh Sockeye salmon for good measure.  Of course, there's also lots of home-made goat cheese as well.

The goats keep us busy.  I taught Luke how to milk, and he milked three quarts of milk all by himself.  We take the goats and babies out to pasture every day, which involves a certain amount of chaos with the puppy trying to chase the baby goats, the mamas butting the puppy, and me trying to contain everyone on a leash.

And we still find time for swimming in the pond and knitting.  I just finished a beret, and don't ask me why I knit with wool in summer, but I did.

One more thing I loved this week: biking with my middle child, Luke.  We are kind of, sort of training for riding our bikes over the pass this year, which would involve an Herculean kind of effort, lots of muscles and tons of chocolate.  So I decided to go on a training ride with Luke, since his older brother Kai already rode over the pass twice.  

We tackled the Cascade River Road, which goes uphill and passes by a waterfall.  Since the day was hot, and we even hotter, Luke and I dunked ourselves in the water to cool off.  What a fun 23 mile ride with my blondie!  He did great, of course, and kicked my ass on the last very steep mile to the lookout.

I will leave you with a picture of two swallow babies who live on the outside wall of our house, and whose parents are hustling all day long to keep them fed.

There's nothing like eating dinner underneath a swallow house.

What's going on in your neck of the woods lately?


  1. You guys live the epitome of Eat Colorful! What a life! Seems like you guys are going through a really good phase. May it last until the end! Yeah!

    1. Yes, it's a good phase. May it last until the end, and may the end come in a long, long, long, long time.

    2. yes yes yes yes and until then we LOVE our time!

  2. Congratulations.... very late, but still. But you've got to talk to your man. I mean bear & cheesecake?? C'mon, that almost borders on barbarism. We are much more sophisticated as a species, aren't we??

    The big 5-0 huh.... I still have some years left until then, but already found some disturbingly white threads in my facial fluff. I think I'd look cool with white hair and a white beard... ;)

    My neck of the woods??
    Busy as a bee..... literally!

  3. not bear, but beer.
    A bear & cheesecake would make for a very interesting mix...

    1. Oh boy, I'm laughing my bootie off over here. I read your bear and cheesecake and tried to but it together, and then I realized what you really meant. I think the bear and cheesecake could be an interesting story... somehow...


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