5/6/14

Afterglow

It was a perfect day yesterday. The weather was forecast to be nasty, but it turned out to be lovely weather. My quilting design worked out. The window washer guy came by and washed my windows. Smitty did not bring in any sort of vermin. And I didn't do a stitch of housework. Stitching yes, housework no. I'd say you can't ask for a better day than that.

So, I've already given you the low-down on my quilt design. Here's what else happened yesterday. For one thing, I got some good birdcam pictures. I only had the camera set up for a couple of hours, rather than all day, and so I had a much more manageable set of pictures to go through. I'm thinking just a few hours is a better way to go than to set it up to record all day. Plus, the light is better in the afternoon than it is in the morning. Here are some of yesterday's visitors.

The American Goldfinches returned to the feeder a couple of weeks ago. Here's one of the females:


I believe these next two are of a female Purple finch.



And two days ago, the grosbeaks returned from their trip south. These next two are of a Black-headed Grosbeak.



Some of you may remember Linda, who used to blog at Stray Stitches. Linda and I have kept in touch via Facebook, and she has a birdcam like mine. She lives in Bakersfield, California, and she reported just a few days ago that the grosbeaks were at her feeder. So I was curious how long it would take them to travel north. Within a few days, they were here. It's so interesting to me how they can be absent one day, and here in abundance the next. We also have the Evening grosbeaks, and they're next on my birdcam coveted bird list. We don't have them for long. I'm not sure they hang out at our elevation and latitude for very long.

And here are a few pictures of some male American Goldfinches. I wondered why some of them were more brightly colored than others. Linda wondered if the younger males were less colorful...or maybe they will turn darker in color later...or maybe the brighter ones just eat more kale in their diet. (That's a joke, in case you were wondering. It is to laugh. Ha Ha. I can just hear some of you saying, "Wow, I didn't know finches ate kale.")




Those were the best of the pictures from yesterday. I'll set it up again today if the weather holds.

Erik and Mae came by for a little while. They had our Jeep over the weekend for an off-road camping trip, and so they brought it by and collected their own car. They brought a birthday cake and some beautiful flowers.


Also, this incredible hydrangea. Such a gorgeous color. I have just the spot for it in the yard where one of the azaleas had to be sacrificed during our plumbing disaster of a couple of summers ago.


Then, we went out to dinner. We went to the same restaurant we went to for Valentine's Day this year. Here's a picture of the view of Portland I took in February.


We were there at the same time last night, and this is how it looked:


Pretty amazing what a difference a few months and a switch to daylight savings time makes, huh?

And here we are enjoying the view. Who is that old woman anyway?


Now, you know I love taking pictures of our food, so if that's not your thing, you'll want to stop reading right now. Nothing more to see here.

Of course, this being Cinco de Mayo (or Cinco de Meow, as I saw on Facebook this morning), we started with margaritas. (Or "meowgaritas" if you prefer.)


It's sort of a requirement, don't you think?

Also, we had an appetizer of lobster and shrimp spring rolls. I love spring rolls as an appetizer. They are so light, and I never feel as if I'm filling myself up on them. We nearly devoured them before I remembered to take a picture, so this is my hasty fix of the plate for the sake of the photographer.


Then I had perhaps the prettiest salad I've ever seen. It was called a Strawberry Bibb Stack. It had strawberries and bibb lettuce (obviously), and it also had candied walnuts and blue cheese and some other stuff. Down below is a beet puree vinaigrette. Just about all of my favorite foods in just one dish. Dee-lish.


Mike had an heirloom tomato caprese salad. I learned to love this salad when I visited Italy almost ten years ago.


Then for our main courses, I had these filet medallions with a brandy green peppercorn sauce, paired up with some coconut crunchy shrimp. Yum.


And Mike had a macadamia-nut encrusted mahi mahi with a peanut sauce on the side. That peanut sauce was to die for.


We went home for dessert because Erik and Mae had brought this birthday cake earlier. It was a neopolitan raspberry cream something-or-other. It took a header in the car, and so it was a little smooshed, but it didn't spoil the taste one little bit. Besides, I had already eaten some of the smooshed pieces before we left for the restaurant. Someone had to.


Here's how it looked on the inside. See the chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry layers? And for this sugar fiend, it couldn't have been more perfect. Perfectly sweet and icky...my favorite kind.


And that was my day! Now I'm 60 years plus one day old. I'm actually happy about the 60 years. I'd hate to back up to one day old at this point and miss out on all the good stuff in between then and now.

So today's day is still pretty laid back. I'm going to get on with quilting the We are the World quilt and binding Intel Underneath. I've done two sides of that one, and after I finish up here, I'll go fill the birdfeeders and then continue on with the binding. If nothing gets in the way, I'll be finished with it after tomorrow's sitting. Also, I'm going swimming this morning. I need to run a couple of errands...go to the post office, pick up some medication, and make a quick trip to the grocery store. Mike's birthday is tomorrow, and so I'm cooking him his favorite prime rib dinner. The rest of the family is coming up on the 17th for a three May birthdays/mother's day celebration. We'll all get together then. We used to try to celebrate everything separately, but it ended up being too much for everyone's busy schedule. As our family expands, our needs change.

So that's about it from me for the day. Today is the last day to link up to the April NewFO Linky Party. You still have time to slide in under the wire. I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Angie said...

Happy Birthday! You look wonderful! I love your Bird photos---could you please share what wild life cam you use. I'm looking for an outdoor cam. Thanks!

WoolenSails said...

Love the bird shots, got some really nice ones this time. I also love where you went to eat, gorgeous views and the food looks so delicious and special. I am glad you had a nice birthday and you do not look old to me.

Debbie

Dana Gaffney said...

That cake is beautiful and the slice made my mouth water, yum.
So where are the Grosbeaks going? They're beautiful.

Marei said...

Too bad you didn't call me....I'd have flown up there just to help you eat that "perfectly sweet and icky" cake. Yum, yum!! Sounds like your birthday turned out wonderfully. :)

carla said...

HI!!!! Thanks for the bird pics!!!! I love the pic at night!!!! Very pretty with all the lights but pretty still during daylight!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday and the food looks scrumptious!!!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Looks like you had the most delish birthday!

Diane Wild said...

Happy Birthday, Barbara. I know, I missed it by a day but I remembered. You'll get to my age in a few years. The Goldfinches will get brighter as the summer wears on. And, the food looked wonderful. Yum.

CathieJ said...

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all the pictures, especially those of the birds. What a great variety you have visiting your feeder.

Donna said...

Happy Birthday!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Fantastic view! You must have had a good time. I really like the bird cam too, such great photos.

andrea@tidelinequilts said...

Happy Birthday! Lovely feast (for you and your backyard birds!) Great way to celebrate a milestone! Congrats!

barbara woods said...

Happy late birthday,time speeds up when you hit 60 I know I will be 73 this year and'm I wad 60 just a while ago

Brown Family said...

Lovely flowers and dinner. The cake looks yummy!

quiltzyx said...

The bird cam shots are great! I'm in a birdy pic kind of mood lately. I felt like doing some drawing, so I did a little pen & ink sketch of a brown pelican to send to my Aunt Dot for her b'day. In blue ink - why not? LOL I think it came out OK. She lives in Huntington Beach, so I looked up to see what kind of shore birds lived in the area & the pelican was the most interesting to me.
Dinner & cake - the pictures actually made my mouth water & I'm not even hungry right now! Hah! Glad you had a happy birthday & a great start for a happy birthday month too!!!

Judy1522 said...

Happy Birthday a little late. It looks like you had a fun day and I love seeing the food pictures. The cake looks delicious.

Michele said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you. That meal is making me hungry for the same, all except for the coconut shrimp that is. Allergic.

Kate said...

Looks like you had a lovely Birthday! Love the bird cam photos. My Guy got a few good shots today while he was out inventorying bird boxes.