Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Birthday Celebration

I was busy every day this past week....and one of the really fun happenings this week was a Birthday Bunco Dinner for Carol.  I have missed being with my Bunco ladies for a very long time, and my first time back happened to be a birthday celebration.  There are 12 of us and it is surprising but we almost have a birthday a month which means a birthday-dinner each and every month of the year.  Whoop whoop!!!  The birthday girl chooses the place of celebration.  Each month we look forward to dinner at a new spot.  Thursday night the chosen place for the birthday celebration was Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant a brand new restaurant that just opened here in our neighborhood.  They produce their own wines right here in Chicago with grapes that are grown in California, Washington, Oregon and Michigan and then shipped to the winery to be made into wines served in their restaurants.  Ofcourse all of us ordered from the drink menu....sighs of satisfaction were heard round the table. 

This is Carol, the Birthday Girl.....all smiles and happy to be celebrating!!  Carol is a real sweetheart, always an engaging smile on her face and laughter in her soul. 

Deb on the left has her new little grand-baby, along with his Mommy & Daddy, staying with Deb and her husband until a new house can be found for the new little family.  Apparently Mommy & Daddy are really fantastic cooks and Deb is enjoying their culinary delights.  Mary, on the right, has enjoyed her summer but is back to school teaching at one of our local colleges, a super smart lady. 

Maryanne is the most organized person I know...she can handle five things at one time and do them all perfect.  She is such a sweetie, always a smile on her face and a story to tell.  

My buddy Ruth....she and I have been friends for many years.  We have worked together on "Mother-Daughter Teas", Women's Retreats, Advent Teas, been thru joys and sorrows, traveled together, sang in the choir together, a great friend.  Everyone should have a friend like Ruth. 

Sue, a real sweetheart.  So soft-spoken, and a true giver of her time and talents.  She is currently the President of an organization that conducts an Adult Day Care center that provides seniors that cannot be left alone a safe place to stay during the day with meals and activities.  Sue is always the willing volunteer, assisting wherever there are needs.

Not the best photo of Sharon, I was fiddling with my camera trying to get the correct white balance, ISO, etc and using her as my target, but then when I finally adjusted it correctly I never went back and got another image of Sharon, forgive me Sharon, but I didn't want to leave you out of the group.  Sharon really is quite beautiful, a natural beauty and a sweet, sweet friend.  Sharon always was so willing to help me when I was in need, her friendship means the world to me. 

Maureen is just demonstrating how good the food was....Maureen forgive me that I didn't get another shot of you either, but I didn't want to leave you out....Maureen is another friend that seems to be able to manage a bazillion things at once and do them all without a hitch.  I wish I had her energy, talents and grace. 

Mary Ann is the newest member of our group.  One of the group's originals moved away this past spring so MaryAnn took her place.  I do not know MaryAnn well having really just met her, but I am sure I will get to know her better and find she is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. 

After inbibing in some tasty wines, we got down to some serious eating.  There was pork....


Gnocchi....not even sure how to say this, but it is little potato dumplings in a tomato sauce, really very tasty.

Chicken with "Mary Potatoes".....

The birthday girl was presented with her own special dessert while we ordered more for the rest of us....

A Berry Crisp with ice cream that was really true yum-osity....

And ofcourse the chocolate cake, a must-have for this group, a culinary classic.  The whole meal was like heaven on a fork. 

I would say that Carol's birthday was a grand evening, enjoyed by all and a real spirit-lifter for me.

"The warmth of a friend's presence brings joy to our hearts, sunlight to our souls, and pleasure to all of life"  -  Unknown

Until next time.......

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