Posts Tagged 'birthday'

Birthday Lunch Down the Shore

highlands beach

I know I’m getting older. Time was if I’d planned to go to the beach, nothing would deter me. But despite having plans to spend Thursday down the shore, I could sense my heart wasn’t really in it. I’ve been hearing horror stories about the traffic and the lines to get into the national park. It’s been so humid that it sucks the life out of me. Late Wednesday night I emailed my sister and said – let’s not go. She was astounded and concerned. The truth was that I’ve been doing so many things that I’ve wanted to get done for so long, and I wasn’t ready to take a day and do nothing. I wrote back and said that nothing was wrong, I really was still her sister Ahuva, and that I was planning to go down the shore for lunch. She was amenable to that change so down to the Highlands we went, back to Inlet Cafe. That place is really becoming one of my favorite spots.

old rusted anchor

local color

We drove down in the luxury car, not the convertible. Neither of us was really up for the 96 degree heat and humidity. I love my new used car – it rides so smoothly and is so powerful. I’m enjoying all the luxuries and appreciate the fine tuning. Unlike dinner on a Saturday night, there was no wait for a table. I probably made a mistake by asking for a table in the shade. We sat close to the building and there was only an occasional breeze. I’m not sure that it would have been better at the tables by the water, however. They are separated by walls of clear plastic now and it’s possible that the plastic would also break the breeze. It didn’t really matter as the food was great, excellent service and a lovely view of the water.

sign board at inlet cafe

sign board at inlet cafe

While we were there I had birthday calls and texts from my niece and my son, so it was a little family lunch. For many years the 4 of us had what we called “our beach day”. Over the years we had traditional stops on the way, traditional conversations, and lots of memories of good times together. Time passes, children grow up and move away, and it’s been awhile since we had “our beach day”.

NOT spqr

NOT SPQR ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

My sister CLAIMS she reads my blog posts, but she was astounded when I parked the car in the tiny municipal lot by the tiny little beach. Despite signs claiming it was an unguarded beach there WAS a lifeguard on duty. I’d noticed the lifeguard stand when we’d been down there for dinner. There were letters on the back but they were partly covered by signs. My liberal arts Roman history major mind looked at what was visible and was sure the letters were SPQR – Senฤtus Populusque Rลmฤnus. For those of you who did NOT study with our beloved Dr. P. B. Harvey at PSU, SPQR is “The Senate and People of Rome”, an emblematic abbreviated phrase referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. It appears on Roman currency, at the end of documents made public by an inscription in stone or metal, and in dedications of monuments and public works. I had no idea why a lifeguard stand in the Highlands should have SPQR painted on it, but it definitely struck my fancy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since there was someone ON the stand, I couldn’t resist. I walked over and asked the young (cute) life guard what it said. He replied that it was SBOR – Sea Bright Ocean Rescue. I told him I was crushed and started to explain and he nodded and finished the explanation. *grin* Not only cute but learned. Impressive. Ah well, we must learn to live with disappointment.

joe's salt sticks

my brother-in-law’s incredibly delicious salt sticks

I pointed out to my sister some of my other favorite little discoveries around the restaurant. I have always been an LBI fan, especially drawn to Beach Haven, but I could really envision renting down in the Highlands. Actually, I could envision retiring to the Highlands. Too bad my husband is set on moving further south when we actually do this retirement thing.

joe's rye bread

Incredibly moist tasty rye bread

Driving home we had one of those “sister experiences”, where we end up laughing so hard we are crying, our sides hurt from laughing, and we worry about not having a change of clothing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do believe my sister is the only one who makes me laugh like that, where I am crying from laughing, and I scream with laughter. It felt good. I begged her to write a post for this, because she writes so well and we were so out of control, but she decided it simply would not translate properly. We had dinner at her house, as her husband offered to make me anything I wanted for my birthday dinner. He and I cook for each other now it seems. He is always making me bread that is so delicious I cannot stop eating it. All his bread is good but his salt sticks and rye bread are sublime. Many many many years ago I traded my Thanksgiving dinner rights for a yearly loaf of rye bread. On the other hand, *I* make him sugar-free desserts. One of the things I wanted to do on vacation was try a new recipe – a flourless chocolate cake. Since I now have FIVE boxes of Tagatesse, I wanted to see if I could make a SF chocolate cake. I knew once I licked the batter that I had a winner. Flourless cakes are much like thick brownies. We brought over some SF vanilla ice cream and had a fantastic dinner with my favorite breads (and hot pastrami) and a great dessert! Birthdays are fun. Just a shame that they come with aging bodies. ๐Ÿ™‚

sf flourless chocolate cake

SF flourless chocolate cake dusted with powdered Tagatesse

Cat Birthday Haikus

cat poem birthday card

Today is my son’s birthday. As you can see by the picture above, I found a card that I thought was perfect for him. Although he is far from our home these days, and far from his/our cats, his love for them is strong. They love him too, assuredly, that is, as much as cats love people. He does soooooo much for them when he is here. He cuddles them, he plays with them, he finds new toys for them. He will even feed them and clean their litter box if need be (meaning I ask for help *grin*). I thought it would be considerate if they wished him a happy birthday. I offered to help them write a birthday haiku for him. I thought something like this might be appropriate:

Kind hands stroking fur,
Dangling string toys, scritching ears,
We love when you’re here.

When I proposed a poetry writing session to the kitties, I was greeted with scorn or indifference. GC, who considers my son “her boy” (as opposed to his considering her ‘his cat’) suggested this instead.

Feed me feed me FOOD!
More food NOW! poop sleep pee sleep.
Feed me feed me FOOD!

IMG_3239

Do I look like I am in the mood to write poems?

WC is nowhere near as interested in food as GC. WC believes in TIMING, not quantity. She starts the meowing for her dinner sometime after 3:30 pm and will continue until she receives food. At which point she will eat 3 bites, maybe, and then walk away. She spends most of her day in her bed. The exceptions to that are when she’s puking or using the litter box. Somehow I have an unerring knack of walking past that room while she is in the litter box. Why can’t mother cats teach their babies to puke in the litter box?? That would save me SO much cleanup. Anyway, once I finally roused her to creativity, here is what she had to say.

MeNOW! MeNOW! Food!
ick. disdain. sleep. nibble. puke.
MeOW. Just because.

IMG_3220

Too much creativity exhausts me.

BC – *smiling* – yes, it’s true, I’m extremely partial to BC these days. She knows it, too. The other 2 have me hopping and jumping and dancing attendance on them from the time I wake up til the time I go to bed. GC really does spend the most time with my son when he is home, but BC is a close second. They both (my son and BC) like playing games. Once she remembers that he is “safe” she’s very happy to hang about. Poetry is not her main talent, however, nor is paying attention, but she tried.

Do you belong here?
Oh right. You. Amuse me now!
Red laser dot game?

IMG_3236

Look how cute my belly is! What’s a poem?

Sometimes you are better off having a blank card than a poem from your cat. *grin*

A Family of Food

Oreo Cheesecake Bar

Oreo Cheesecake Bar pre-cutting

My husband loves to cook. He loves watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks, and creating marvelous yummy entrees. I like to cook MUCH more now than I did prior to renovating the kitchen (it’s so EASY and fun to cook in the new kitchen) but I consider myself more of a baker than a cook. Naturally our son both cooks and bakes. He will often send me photos of his meal or of some treat he’s baked. His specialty seems to be baking for his coworkers. I think it began innocently enough. A good friend there had a birthday. This friend apparently loved the movie (Mean Girls) from whence we get “On Wednesday we wear pink!”. My son baked a birthday sheet cake and frosted it with pink icing. His coworkers devoured it. I think the next birthday was someone who likes bread, so my son baked a gorgeous challah. Also devoured. His office has pot luck meals at holiday times so my son has brought in potato latkes (devoured) and challah (devoured). I know he’s brought cookies and biscuits as well. Hope they all have memberships at a gym. This week’s office birthday treat was Oreo Cheesecake bars. They were apparently a big hit – devoured. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now if I can only teach my son to take food photos as great as his baking!

oreo cheesecake

Yes it IS blurry but it still looks yummy!

Happy Birthday to Me

IMG_8905 (1)So now a post about a hotel that does things right…. Okay, that’s probably not fair. The staff at the Four Points did all they could to help make a bad situation (no a/c) better. The complaint really should be directed at the management in charge of the infrastructure. Be that as it may, we fled the Sheraton Sunday morning and spent most of the day running around again in the 100+ degree temperature.

We arrived at the Hilton Phoenix/Chandler a little after 5pm. I have no idea how many miles we’ve logged on the car by this point. We have been all around Tempe, around Chandler, to and from Scottsdale, pretty much everywhere but Phoenix itself. I was hot, headache-y, dehydrated (my fault) and thoroughly done with all of the errands we’d been doing (more about that in a different post). Today is my birthday. I’ll be spending most of it alone at the hotel. When we checked in at the front desk yesterday we told the front desk clerk how thrilled we were to be there. We began to tell her the highlights (lowlights?) of the last 4 evenings. When we mentioned no a/c she looked truly horrified and said that she thought that might actually be illegal in Arizona. We told her our woes and she immediately wrote a voucher for 2 free drinks from the bar. ๐Ÿ™‚ I thanked her and said that it would be a wonderful birthday treat as my birthday was the next day.

We went up to our room on the Executive level. The room was nice, had WORKING a/c, access to the Executive lounge, free breakfast, and I have a late, 2pm checkout. We changed into our bathing suits, stopped at the lobby bar to get directions to the pool and ask about hours for our free drinks. The bartender offered to put our drinks in plastic cups so we could take them to the pool. *huge grin* We accepted. We had the pool to ourselves. IMG_8918It was great. There was a faint breeze (warm of course but at least moving air). After the pool, it was perfect (I even was a bit chilled). We went into the whirlpool. Ahhhh, jets on my aching back. We sipped our drinks. The woman in charge of public areas, Luisa, came by and we had a great chat with her. She was the first native-to-Phoenix area we’d met. We talked weather, and which Hilton I should use when I come back to visit my son in February. (I confess, I’m going to miss my yearly February trip to see him in FLORIDA.) Luisa was lovely and very helpful. When we went back inside she introduced us to one of the managers and mentioned my birthday. *grin*

We changed and went back to the lobby bar/grill for dinner. The food was fantastic, much to my surprise. I know we are off-season and it did not appear that there were many people there, so it could have been possible to have the kitchen off its game. Not the case. The same bartender also took our order and knew how to make my G&Ts (yes, plural) just the way I like. I had a very interesting chat with my son and learned more about his writing work, the details of which I’d never quite understood. At the end of our meal the front desk attendant came to comp us a dessert for my birthday, and the bartender comped me a drink. It was absolutely lovely. We came back upstairs and luxuriated in the COOL room.

This morning we took advantage of our executive breakfast privileges. My son headed off for his first day of work at the new job, and I came back to my COOL room to blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ In a bit I will change into my bathing suit and head to the pool. Keeping with this theme of hardship and suffering today, I need to search for a place for birthday dinner and first-day-of-work celebration. We’re thinking steak. I have a red-eye out at 11pm tonight. I have checked in and it seems that I am still in 1st class, and my plane is on time. May it be so – don’t fail me, United!!!! Let’s end this travel on a positive note!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Faust!

No, not the Faust who made the deal with the devil. Happy RL birthday to Faust Ivercourt. *hugs* I love you, Faust. Completely, unconditionally. *smile* Have a wonderful birthday and a happy, healthy year to come!

ah1b

rez day contemplationMy rez day is nearly here. I’ll be one. It doesn’t seem possible. I feel as if I have been here much longer than that. I feel as if I am still a total noob, trying to figure out how the heck to use my camera. Oh wait. I still CAN’T cam properly. ๐Ÿ™‚ A year. It’s nearly a year. My life has changed so completely. Hard to believe that a mere 365 days ago, I’d never heard of SecondLife. I’d have laughed if you’d told me I’d be spending every waking moment logged into a virtual world. I’d have laughed even harder had you told me that I was going to be proselytizing at my job to convert my management and coworkers to my new “vision”. Blogging???? Get Real. One year.

I don’t know what to do. I LOVE parties. I love throwing parties in RL. *grin* I will put my Superbowl party up against ANYONE’s. That is ONE heck of a party. I do pretty good monthly summer barbecues and my second-night seder plays to a full house. ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE entertaining and feeding people. I had a wonderful time last December throwing a SL thank-you party for Bailey and Shenlei (who actually ended up doing all the work for that party, but hey, that’s a DIFFERENT post).

pin the tailOn the other hand, I never really celebrate my birthday. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I was born in the summer. When you are very little, that’s not a big deal. Other little kids are around for cupcakes and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (yes, that is an ACTUAL recollection). But as you grow older, all your friends go away for the summer – camp, beach houses, travel. No one is around to celebrate. Once I had my son, somehow my birthday seemed irrelevant compared to his. So I really stopped celebrating. I did try to throw myself a large party a few years ago – it seemed a good, timely idea. But personal tragedy intervened and the party never happened. So I am quite reluctant to throw a birthday/rez day party. Somehow it just feels like a “bad” idea.

How do I figure out WHEN to celebrate??? I have friends in every time zone it seems. So you know someone can’t come. I have friends that work weekends and friends that work during the week. so you know someone can’t come. LOL. I know. I should do what I used to do for my son, when he was little. It seemed his birthday used to stretch into a week. Family dinner this night, party that day, celebration in school a different day, religious calendar observance yet another day. *grin* Birthweek.

What do you do? Do you like celebrating your birthday? Do you like celebrating your rez day? Should I have a party? Should I ignore it? It seems way too complicated, too many decisions. Time is ticking……
party or not


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