It was a two mountain day for Mike's birthday celebration yesterday. We were a little on the windy side here, but still lovely warm weather.
We used to see three mountains from our place. Here, you can see Mt. Rainier on the left and Mt. St. Helens on the right. We used to see Mt. Adams to the right of Mt. St. Helens, but the trees have grown up now, blocking our view. Mike has a plan to top the ones down below before they block the view altogether, but I'm not sure how successful that will be. There are a lot of trees, and we only control a few of them.
Yesterday was busy. There was lots of sewing and lots of cooking. Mike's favorite breakfast in the whole wide world is Eggs Benedict, and so we started his birthday morning there. You need strong arms to whisk that Hollandaise sauce into shape, but we got 'er done.
After that, I had only a few stitches to take on the first of the three snowmen. My friend Marei says this guy looks as if he's hanging onto his candy canes for dear life.
I'm started on the second of three now. They go pretty fast.
From there, we set free the cats. I always take a walk around first, clapping my hands and yelling at the "bad dogs" to "GET OUT OF HERE!" We haven't seen any bad dogs in months, and so it seems they've moved on. As I walked around, I snapped a few pictures. This is the second of the rhododendrons to bloom. It's looking so pretty right now.
The first two that bloom are on the sunny side of the house. These have gotten so large they are blocking the sidewalk. Rhododendrons grow wild in Oregon, and these domestic ones can get as big as a tree. These two are going to have to get whacked back when they finish blooming, which is a shame, but it will be less expensive than rerouting the sidewalk.
Speaking of things that grow as large as trees, check out this volunteer catnip. I wish it were a little closer to the catio. I still might try weaving some of it into the fencing so the kitties can get at it when they're confined.
Finally, I wanted to show you how big the peonies have gotten already. Except for the one on the far left, they are covered in buds. They're my next thing to put on the Bloomers Watch List (which I just made up just now). Expect to see the buds opening in daily documentation very soon.
Back inside, I was determined to finish off the poppies. I had just the top and bottom square-in-a-square borders to do. First the top...
And then the bottom.
And then, there was just one narrow green border to add. This is a Jane Kakaley pattern. She often adds that narrow border around the outside.
My thinking is that it helps keep from cutting off the points of the diamonds. I can see where I'm sewing with the border, but I won't be able to see where I'm sewing when I add the binding.
Sadie helped me choose the binding fabric. We auditioned about half a dozen from my stash, and we both liked this one best. Sadie rolled around on it and rubbed her cheeks against it.
She liked it so much, she decided to take a nap right there...which made cutting the strips kind of difficult.
I laid it out next to the quilt so you could see how it will look on the left there. It probably won't get finished until next year sometime.
But there was still cooking to do. Mike requested Three Cheese Lobster Macaroni and Cheese for his birthday dinner. This is the very definition of comfort food.
It uses a lot of pots and makes a very messy kitchen when I cook it, but it is so cheesy and good. Also, it makes six of these large ramekins. We ate two and then froze four for future camping trips. When I've made this before, I've been able to find cooked and frozen lobster. I couldn't find it this time around, and so I bought some frozen lobster tails. They just needed boiling for about 8 minutes, and then I chopped them up and tossed them into the mix. Yum.
Instead of a birthday cake, he wanted a skillet cookie. It was a sweet way to finish off the day.
Okay, and so yes, we've totally blown our diets this week, but birthdays only come around once per year. Celebration is mandatory.
It continues with more cooking today. We're having a prime rib roast on Saturday, and I'm getting a head start today. I'm making a cheesecake for our dessert on Saturday, and I'll do that today. Also, I'm making Mike's favorite green bean dish, which is best made a day ahead, and so that's also on today's agenda. I have a few little things I'd like to get done in the sewing room today...making a couple of masks for one. We both have masks we've been using, but it would be nice to have a spare for when the others are in the wash. Oregon is beginning to reopen next week, but we'll probably continue to quarantine and wear our masks until we see how this first wave goes.