Counting my blessings after a wonderful birthday!

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
    for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
    for I give myself to you.

Psalm 143:8
– new camera, bag, strap

Birthday number 67 came (see “Happy Birthday to Me“), we celebrated, and now I have the opportunity to enjoy my 68th year with a few more toys!

That’s right, I am now the owner of a brand new Nikon Z 50 Mirrorless camera. As you can probably tell, I am very excited.

This doesn’t replace my trusty D3400 DSLR; there is still a lot of great photography where it will always be the perfect fit. But the Z 50 is light, versatile, and equipped to expand the possibilities; it will – once I get the hang of operating – likely become my go to day-to-day workhorse.

More on the camera and some sample shots from Day One in another post.

The Birthday:

So we started out with coffee on the deck and then went to church. I don’t know if it was the topic of Mac’s message, or because my birthday already had me thinking about our “Big Picture” as a family, or because it has been a hard week for my mum, or maybe all “all of the above”, but I shed tears.

Of course it could also be that old guys cry more easily, so there’s that.

Then we did gifts and birthday cake at lunch with my mum and that’s when I got my new Nikon from Rebekah, along with a very cool camera bag from my mum.

During the afternoon I worked on getting to know my new toy. Then, after the rain finally finished and birthday sunshine came along, I went out for a short walk around the neighborhood to put the Z 50 through a series of tests (see my next post for samples).

For dinner, and as our gift from Naomi and Craig, Rebekah and I went out to Carabba’s Italian Grill.


Serious food snobs sniff at what’s known as “Italian American” cuisine, talking about how inauthentic it is. However, as someone who has enjoyed a number of trips to Italy, I beg to differ. I think Carabba’s do a great job of honoring the Italian tradition, while making it a hybrid American experience.

– Pollo Rosa Maria

The only thing Carabba’s have a hard time with is allowing the mood and the conversation at the table dictate the timing. Food comes out fairly fast, and we had to send the salads back when they came out just two minutes after the appetizer.

I asked the waitress (who was excellent, by the way) to please tell the kitchen we wanted to take our time. They respected that, and so there was a decent interval between courses. The food was excellent, hot, and prepared to perfection.

We actually asked to speak to the manager before we left, and thanked her for the friendly and positive attitude we picked up from all the staff. “That reflects well on you,” I said.

We started with the calamari, both enjoyed Caesar salads, and shared my birthday dessert. For the entree, Rebekah had the Pollo Rosa Maria, and I ordered the “TUSCAN-GRILLED LAMB T-BONES: Wood-grilled lamb T-bones prepared with our signature grill baste and olive oil served with a bourbon mint demi-glace.”

– the birthday boy (67)….

All in all, a wonderful day. Yes, I absolutely do count my blessings. I am constantly overwhelmed with how good life is and how abundantly blessed I am in every conceivable way.

In love, and because of love – DEREK

all photos are from my iPhone. featuring new camera pics later:

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