Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with dear friend, Michael. He took me out to Chef Amaury - absolutely exquisite! Chef Amaury only serves two nights a week. This night's Five Course Menu started off with "La Quercia" organic prosciutto with frozen pineapple, mixed greens, Balsamic cream and crispy Manchego.  The second course was kale and French green lentil soup with slow roasted Berkshire Pork Shoulder (from Iowa, no less, so you know it's delcious!). As if it couldn't get any better, it did! The third course was pan roasted parrot fish with black trumpet tomato cream sauce and Quinoa Pilaf....words can not describe! The main entree was Colorado rack of lamb crusted with hazelnut mustard, with Syrah blueberry sauce and chive potatoes. Oh, my! Dessert - as if I had any room left at all, was blood orange and lemon cream tart wit whipped cream. Michael had the Venezuelan bittersweet chocolate molten cake. We started with a delicious champagne and ended with it, too. What a birthday celebration! One I will never forget! Thank you, Michael!

Another wonderful birthday present I received came in the mail from Linda Turner, my dear friend in Santa Barbara. She included a crisp one dollar bill  with the words, "Here's your  1st $1 towards..."The House-on-the-Hill." How thrilling it was to receive my first "Build a Buck!"  I thought it over, and have decided to frame this first dollar. It really means a lot to me! Thank you, Linda!

Family and friends called from all over the country. How good to hear from everyone. Thank you all for remembering my birthday!

The days are still too short and still too cold. But hope springs eternal that warmth will soon be here. I took a walk around the lake today. When I was on top of the hill, I outlined (in the snow) the house. I even walked  around making the kitchen area and stood looking at my "windows" down to the lake. Still dreaming but every day we get closer!

Chris and Smitty are here today and I can hear a lot of yelling going on, so hopefully they are catching some big ones! ...Nope! I just talked with Chris and he said its slowwww, but they are having fun anyway.They are using their "sled"  for dragging their fishing hut out on the ice for a REAL sled. Smitty is taking his turn at sledding down the small hill in front of the cottage  - and away he goes! They are such crazy guys! It's been lots of fun having them out here.

It's starting to get dusky already - with no sun the day seems to end early - and I need to add a log to the fire. Dear Readers, May your favorite team win today and go on to the Super Bowl!


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