Friday, February 1, 2013

Birthday Bliss

I must admit to being a bit cynical about my own birthday, especially since I crossed the threshold between teens and twenties. In a nutshell, it was a rough transition, and each year has only been a reminder that I’m getting older and older…and I’ll stop there. This is a happy blog, after all.

This year, as January slipped away and my birthday came closer, something changed. Instead of dreading coming that much closer to the Big Three-O, I actually wanted to celebrate, to take advantage of the opportunity to have some fun! So the planning began, and what took place as a result was one of the best birthday celebrations I’ve had in a long time.

Friday, February 1st, 2013 began with the promise of sunshine…and some lovely gifts from Mom and Peter. Namely, a packet of 20 flavors of Jelly Bellies—my traditional Birthday Candy—most of which were flavors I like! Yay! Mom also gave me these pretty “shinies” that I’d been drooling over at Michael’s Crafts for several months. Thanks, Mom!
 I also got these Crazy Socks from my cousin in California:  

Mom pretty much let me “order” whatever I wanted to eat for the day, which included many of my favorite eatables…plus a few new things I wanted to try.

~Birthday Menu~
Breakfast: Cinnamon-raisin bagels with plain and Mixed Berry cream cheese
Lunch: Pickled vegetables, specialty cheeses, salami, Meatball Minestrone (recipe coming soon!), blood-orange Italian soda
Supper: Tortellini with four sauces (Tomato, Alfredo, Basil Pesto, Garlic-olive-oil), sourdough garlic bread, green salad
Dessert: Ice creams (Triple chocolate, Mint-chip, Mountain Huckleberry) with various toppings (including 12-flavor Gummi Cubs)
Green-and-white stoneware courtesy of "Aunt" Patty
Normally I’m not a fan of orange juice (I’ll drink it, but give me cranberry any day!), but once I tasted a sample of blood-orange Italian soda at Costco, I was hooked. And since the theme for lunch and supper was Italian (ish) this year, it seemed like the perfect accompaniment. Mom even pulled out Grandma Burcham’s crystal glasses to serve it in!
Havarti, salami, Babybel & smoked Cheddar (wood glue NOT on the menu!)
"Humor the shutterbug."
BTW, have I ever mentioned that I love my mother? Well, I do. Especially since she made a special effort to grant a pet wish I’d expressed—without much hope, mind you, due to the iffy weather—namely, having Kellie and Tasha be part of my special day. And by God’s grace—and to my great delight— it worked out perfectly for them to join us for lunch before whisking me off “on an Adventure!” (quoth Tasha)…which in this case included taking me On The Town for an afternoon of thrifting and a peek at the famous (to me) Wigget’s Antiques. I was completely floored when Mom clued me in to what she and the girls had brewing up their sleeves (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?)—clueless! Everyone seemed relaxed and happy, and conversation was natural and entertaining—just what luncheons with good friends ought to be! The pickled veggies were our first attempt at lacto-fermentation (using whey instead of vinegar), so the fact that they were even edible (barring the mushrooms) was a big plus! The pickled peppers were especially good—zingy!
I should mention here that the girls came bearing very nice gifts, although just the pleasure of accompanying them On The Town would have been gift enough. :-D
These are from Kellie (not Booffy, obviously ;-)):
Top to bottom: Hand-knitted potholder/doily & "Jasmine Garden" goatmilk soap, Aunsen Heroines watercolor, "The Cobb" roll-on perfume...and my very own Wall Tent Bunting!
Tasha’s gift—my very own Bow Belt, wrapped in adorable teddy bear paper—as you can see, went very nicely with the outfit I wore:
Photo courtesy of Peter

~What I’m Wearing~
Boots: Black Buckled Boots—Target (resoled-last year)
Skirt: Grey Wool Pleated Skirt—thrifted
Sweater: Lavender Cabled Sweater—thrifted
Shirt: Lavender Turtleneck—thrifted
Belt: Lavender Bow Belt—Wool and Whatnot (gift)
Hairstyle: “Halo” Braid

Better view of Halo Braid (and Snowbunny Hat)
That’s another tradition of mine—wearing purple on my birthday. I usually wear amethyst jewelry, too, but this year I didn’t feel like it.

Kellie wore her new “Amelia Earhart” leather jacket, and Tasha sported striped layered tees with her denim skirt. And God heard Mom’s prayers for good weather that day, because by the time we got to CdA, the sun had broken through the clouds, so heavy coats weren’t necessary.
Side view
I did don my Cream Cardigan (not shown) and “Snowbunny” hat, as it was still barely in the 40s, after all, and this California transplant is still adjusting to the weather up here. Plus my ears get really sore in cold weather—especially if there’s any wind—so a hat was necessary, even if I did feel a little silly wearing a hairy ski-hat on what turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day. I had brought my royal blue wool coat (also not shown), just in case it got cold out, but it ended up sitting in the back seat next to Kellie the whole time, as the weather really wasn’t freezing at all. When Kellie saw it, she declared it to be TARDIS Blue! “But unlike the TARDIS,” quoth I, “it’s not bigger on the inside.” We both agreed that would be kind of a bad thing for a coat, LOL.

Our first stop was an upscale “resale fashion” boutique the girls’ friend Emily told them about, called Dazzle. And what do you know? They just *happened* to be having a clearance sale that day! While most of their prices made my Scotch blood sit up and howl, I had to admit that the quality was probably worth the few extra bucks.

By the time we were ready to go, Tasha found a few really cute things, and I think Kellie did, too.

After a quick meet-up with someone who had something for Tasha’s brother Alex, we headed on over to the CdA St. Vincent de Paul thrift store (there’s a mouthful for ya). Then we dropped by a little used bookstore along 4th Street out of curiosity…for about five minutes. The books I saw all looked a bit creepy…I might even say some of them had an evil look about them. So we decided to lose no more time and head on over to the CdA Goodwill…after I took care of a minor hair malfunction. >Sigh< The joys of fine hair! (Which led to a discussion of the different pros and cons of our various hair types, and encouraging one another concerning the positive attributes thereof—namely, the fact that Kellie can put her hair up in a fancy vintage or even Edwardian updo and not need any padding, and that Tasha’s hair has natural soft waves that end in little curls. Lucky ducky.)

We had just enough time for a quick trip to Wigget’s Antiques, which I’ve been curious to see ever since Kellie mentioned it on her blog. I had no idea it was so big! And absolutely packed with treasures from the past—and that was just the main level. We didn’t even get to the upper level or the basement, but what we did see quite dazzled me. And we all brought home a treasure or two, mine being my very own copy of Jane Eyre, for which I’ve been looking a long time. PTL! (It was kind of funny, actually—I was browsing the books and came upon one with Jane Eyre in it, but with three other stories I wasn’t familiar with. “If only they had just Jane Eyre by itself!” said I. Another minute or two later, my wish was granted! Awesome!
We all agreed that next time we go out on the town, we should begin with Wigget’s, so’s we’ll have plenty of time to see the whole store. That, or dedicate a whole outing just for that purpose. There’s just so much to see!

And so, loaded down with our lovely loot, tired—a good kind of tired—from shopping and laughing at funny stories shared, commenting on the crazy (and somewhat disturbing) things done by “some people’s kids!”, encouraging Tasha—our designated driver for the day—during our encounters with the idiots who thought they owned the road (“Go, Tasha! You’re the best!”), and enjoying the glorious sunshine still beaming down on us, we bent our steps (wheels?) back to Prairie Cottage. We passed by the Coeur d’Alene resort, marveled at the sunshine on the lake and sighed with regret that we didn’t have “just one more hour” to walk along the beach in the glorious weather God had sent us. So we contented ourselves with enjoying the sunshine that came in the car windows instead.

The girls had just enough time to come and see “Tiger” in his place of honor in the studio before they left, after which time I went in the house and showed the family my loot (post coming soon!)…chattering like a magpie, I’m afraid, due to being still a bit high on adrenaline at that point.
Sneak Peek!
That evening, the H family from down the street, and Mrs. S from across the street, came over to share sumptuous Italian-ish dinner we’d prepared, and the hot artichoke dip Mrs. H brought. Mom decorated the table in my three favorite colors from childhood: Pink, Purple and White:
The pink is in the "silk" flowers

The artichoke dip was a hit, and soooo good on the warm, butter-soaked sourdough bread.
Too. Much. TORTELLINI!!!

After supper, when our guests had gone (leaving me with some very nice—and unexpected—gifts) we wound down the evening by watching the first episode of Emma (2009 miniseries). It had been a long time since we’d seen it, so I figured it was high time we watched it again. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s “Elinor Dashwood’s” review.

From the H family: Hand cream, lip balm, embroidery kit and a book!
Mrs. S gave me a card with a $20 bill in it and told me to buy something nice. Which I did...but thats another story.

But the festivities didn’t end there! I found out the next day that Mom (and Peter, too) had more in store for me than just a Mom And Me thrifting expedition (otherwise known as a MAM outing)! We dropped by Jo-Ann’s to see if they had any fabrics to match the scraps I brought with me—they didn’t, but the trip was still profitable—then re-visited the CdA Goodwill and popped into the Hospice thrift store, where I hit the jackpot…but you’ll have to wait to see what I got. *Evil grin*

When we got home and I saw all the cars parked in our driveway (and on the street), suddenly I realized why Mom had said we needed to be home by two o’clock. Actually, she *said* it was because Aunt B was calling from California…I think that’s the only time my mother has ever lied to me in my whole life! :-P
The cars belonged to several couples from church and Bible study whom we’ve gotten to know a little, plus “Aunt” Patty and “Uncle” Richard, Jordan R and Michelle (who walked down from Jordan’s house). Just like dinner the night before, the table was decked out in Pink, Purple and White, and laden with snacky goodies like Buffalo Wing Bugles and fudge-dipped shortbread cookies—yum!
Mom had said that gifts weren’t necessary, but folks brought some anyway—and very nice gifts, too! 
From Mr. & Mrs. C: A diary with a Psalm on each page, and a kitten bookmark
From Patty & Richard: New PJs--with kitties!
From Michelle (and her mom): A crocheted Flower Headband (pictured with Cream Cardigan)
From Jordan R: Insulated cup & straw, purple loofa, Lilac-scented candle, mint gum & chocolate-covered orange jelly sticks!
And several people gave me more Green Stuff…which later made the offering box at church, my poor starving bank account and my purse very happy. :-D

 I was overwhelmed by all the love and generosity of our friends, and so blessed beyond measure at how many people actually took the time out of their busy schedules to make me feel special. God has put some wonderful people in my life, and I am so grateful for their friendship. I thank God, too, for my mother, who made such a big effort to make my birthday a special one, to show me that I am loved, and that I’m worth it.

~Quotes of the day~
“TOM”: How did you know I like teddy bears?
TASHA: Maybe because I read your blog.

TASHA: So, how do you like sitting in the back seat, Kellie?
KELLIE: *Pause* I’ll get back to you on that.
“TOM”: Think of it this way: There’s a front seat, and a back seat—
ALL: …and a window in between!

KELLIE: That is seriously adorbs! *Pause* OK, if I say that again, slap me or something.
(She didn’t, so we didn’t.)

(While locking up the truck….)
TASHA: “Lock the door, R2!”
“TOM”: *Whistles*
TASHA: *Chuckle*

“TOM”: That guy was a bit wibbly-wobbly.
TASHA: But not at all timey-wimey.

KELLIE: That house has a rather high opinion of itself…advertising as “the model home.”
“TOM”: La-ti-dah!
TASHA: Ooh, vahz!*

* Vahz = A pronunciation of V-A-S-E, converted by Tasha into an expression denoting something is high-class, or very proper. Usually uttered with dramatic sarcasm.

Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post - you captured every detail to perfection:)
    I'm so glad we were able to do that together - and it sounds like the next day was awesome, as well!



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