It's already Sunday night again, and the beginning of another week -- this one is Tony's birthday week and for six whole days he'll be a year older than me. gloat
And it's been a bit of a roller coaster as well: from my brother in the hospital on Sunday to being home and becoming just a tad cantankerous yesterday (which is fine -- I'd much rather have him that way than sick and scared, and I'm sure my sister-in-law would agree).... from weather in the 80s to our first fire in the woodstove yesterday.
We also got serious about losing the extra 15 or so pounds we've both put on since we first moved here, and we've both been doing a pretty good job of controlling portions and leaving the sugar alone. My scale yesterday morning was happier than it's been for a while.
We celebrated both our birthdays last night at a gathering of good friends, all of us around the same age -- give or take 10 years, all of us transplants from other places. And there are some terrific cooks. Our wonderful neighbors hosted, and cooked delicious food which was further seasoned with all the laughter and teasing and warm conversations filling their home. Others brought appetizers, wine, dessert -- and oh. Dessert. Birthday cake. THE. ULTIMATE. COCONUT. CAKE.
But you ain't never seen -- nor eaten -- anything like this one, folks. By a long shot it was the most decadent thing I EVER put in my mouth (and I'm no stranger to decadence). I found the recipe today, and I swear you could gain 10 pounds just reading it. (Note: there are several parts to the recipe, and the links to each part e are on the bottom of the page that this link takes you to.) The cake supposedly weighed 12 pounds, but I think it was more: the half of it that is left must weigh nearly 10. According to the cook, the recipe was featured on a Martha Stewart show by a chef from South Carolina who will ship the cake anywhere for $100 (bet that doesn't include overnight, refrigerated shipping costs, though).
So after one more small taste tonight, and saving a piece for a friend who adores coconut anything, it goes to work with Tony tomorrow to help harden the young supple arteries of the 20- and 30-somethings with whom he works. Better theirs than ours.
And yes, there were presents even! Fun, thoughtful, personalized gifts that just warmed our hearts.
What we have found since moving here is not only a whole new way of life in the country, but more good friends than either of us can remember ever having -- certainly since we were in high school, at least. We feel tremendously blessed and honored, and very grateful for the friendships and caring people. What a great way to enter our seventh decade (*yikes*)!!!
Life is not perfect, nor does it stay the same for long: we know change is inevitable, and indeed we hold in our hearts one close friend who found out about some serious health problems this week, and always hold close our daughters with their various issues, and my brother with his immobilized shoulder.
But this weekend was lovely, and we capped it by going out late this afternoon and taking photos at the Sacramento River Discovery Center just when the light went golden in late afternoon. Although we had some good rain yesterday and a cozy day spent indoors enjoying our first fire, today's cool but crystal-clear air and sunshine was a bonus finish.
This week is another chance for all of us: a chance to work hard, to enjoy each other, to communicate honestly and lovingly, to be grateful every day for something in our lives. It's easy for us tonight.