The day after Johnny left for his three week trip to New Zealand with our California son Steve and his family, our Washington son Kevin and his family arrived on the farm to celebrate my birthday. I cooked a turkey and Jessica, with help from Kevin and Ian, did all the rest of the cooking and all the meals for the four days they were here. I had not written about that amazing weekend sooner because I have this weird thing about not wanting to tell the world when Johnny is out of town. But I recently learned that everyone in the area knows anyway as this is a rural area and everyone seems to know everyone else's business. At least, they know ours. Johnny knows everyone and I think he must tell everyone everything.
Alas, I took almost no photos over the weekend as I was just enjoying being pampered. Kevin and Jessica and Ian arrived Friday night but had insisted that they would cook me supper when they arrived. And they did. When I came in from evening chores, supper was all ready. And it was delicious.
On the weekend we hiked to the creek, pressed apple cider, worked a 1,000 piece puzzle, carved pumpkins, watched some Big Bang Theory episodes, talked and laughed. Jessica baked a fantastic gluten-free birthday cake. Kevin made turkey broth from the bones along with veggies from my garden. After they left I made soup from one of the four big jars of broth. I ate yummy leftovers for a week. I did freeze some of the purple potatoes Jessica had made... to share with Johnny when he gets home because potatoes are his favorite food. I was going to save him a piece of my birthday cake but, somehow, I ate it all up instead.
It was fun hiking through the woods with Jessica. She loved all the funky fungus and the light dancing in the fall leaves and wanted photos of all of it. She stopped to admire artistic nature arrangements as often as I do.
We pressed a lot of cider on Saturday, but, alas, I took no photos. On Sunday they picked pumpkins for carving from the garden... I had envisioned them picking the big ones but instead they carved little ones and one big one. They are much better pumpkin carvers than I. Theirs look happy. Mine looks... odd.
|Ian with a "Cinderella" pumpkin. They're kind of flat.|
Kevin found this giant overgrown summer squash. He took it home with him. I don't know if it was still edible.
|mine is the one on top|
On Sunday night, the day before my birthday, Ian and I stayed up late working on the puzzle. He kept glancing at his magic phone. Then, suddenly, he said, "Happy Birthday!" and showed me his phone: it said 12:01 a.m. "I wanted to be the first to wish you happy birthday." Could there be a sweeter grandkid?
On Monday morning, they finished the puzzle of Vancouver.
Steve and Munazza, Kestrel and Cedrus, ...and Johnny did not fly out of California to New Zealand until Sunday night, so they called before they left and sang me Happy Birthday, saying it was already my birthday in New Zealand. I think that's kind of cheating but it was nice hearing from them.
Monday, Kevin and Jessica and Ian left for home and surrogate grandson David called to wish me happy birthday. Phone calls from family on "my" day almost make getting older worthwhile.
My huge order of flower bulbs arrived on Monday so I spent the rest of the afternoon, after the kids left, happily planting them.
The next day, Dawn and I drove my first Grand Ronde raptor route of the season... and found two White-tailed Kites for the first time on the route in a very long time. It was a very good birthday week. I even managed to get my monthly column for United Caprine News written and sent on time. And then it was back to harvesting the garden, the blog I wrote earlier when I was avoiding talking about Johnny being out of the country.
Johnny missed a very fun birthday party weekend.