Wednesday, April 18, 2012

60th Birthday

    We had a wonderful birthday celebration over the weekend as it was my 60th birthday, my mom's 80th birthday as well as 4th and 3rd birthdays for Lilly Kang and Cozette Romero respectively.  We celebrated over the course of two days since not everyone could make it on Saturday and mom had to leave for Kimberly Knapp's wedding on Sunday morning.  18 out of 21 grandchildren were present so there was truly a joyful chaos.  I really appreciated the sacrifices everyone made to be here.  It gives me such great joy to have so many of my children and grandchildren here and listen to them have such a good time together.

    I had to work some on Saturday as we are getting pretty close to the package bees and the bee store is a pretty crazy place on Saturdays.  Besides I have already gone to the well too many times and have left Quentin to handle the store by himself on several busy Saturdays during the past six weeks.   So I came home Saturday at about two in the afternoon to find Linda and our children involved in weeding out our blueberry patch as a birthday gift to me.  I was actually quite moved that they all went to such a great effort, especially considering how weedy the blueberries were before they started.  The worst of it was all of the volunteer Shasta Daisies that had spread into a significant portion of the blueberries.  The blueberry patch is a beautiful sight now that it is weed free with a new layer of mulch. The new mulch is more than just cosmetic as that is one way to keep the dreaded mummy berry fungus in check.  The only problem now is that the weed free blueberries are making their next door neighbors (the black currants) look pretty seedy.  
Weed Free Freshly Mulched Blueberries

    I received a few other special gifts besides the weed free blueberries.  Rachel got me a special boule basket that is used for shaping loaves of my favorite kind of bread.  Sarah gave me a nice selection of pyrex pie pans.  You can never have too many pie pans and I am always running short, especially around holidays. James and Beth gave me an issue of Cat Fancy magazine, a hilarious gift when you consider how much of a cat person I am not. Far and away the best gift was just having everybody there.
I told Linda that it was like a little taste of the Celestial Kingdom.

    I made biscuits for the Kangs and Romeros on Saturday morning before I left for work.  We did a comparison with one batch made from self-rising flour and one batch from all-purpose flour.  We used lard for the oil in both batches The self-rising flour biscuits were significantly lighter that the all-purpose flour biscuits.  The only negative comment regarding the self-rising batch was that Autumn thought they were too salty. Considering the Kangs'  extremely low salt diet I wasn't surprised.  Besides, I also think they are too salty. The next step in my quest for the perfect biscuit will be to locate a source of low protein flour other than the self-rising flour so I can have my light biscuits without the extra salt.

     Now that Rachel, Lia, and Sarah have all gone home things seem pretty quiet. I really don't like having the Romeros so far away, but I do realize its where they need to be right now.  At least we'll be through the package bees soon and I won't be so tied down to the store. Then I can at least make a little trip to Oregon once in a while. Its wonderful having them all together, but its also wonderful to have a the one on one time that we get visiting them one family at a time.

    The ducks seem to be recovering nicely from the visit of the grand children.  Considering the level of harassment I was really surprised that the egg production didn't drop.  Linda went out once and found little three year old Cozette holding a duck up by the neck. She has apparently inherited her big sister's gift for catching poultry.  The current tally as of 4/18/2012 is Ducks 140,  Chickens 37.

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