Sunday, April 26, 2009

Still Going Like Sixty

For the closing event of the Big Birthday Week Shana and I hosted a Birthday Brunch with the WAACOs plus Shelley. Shana made a beautiful ham and an egg casserole; friends brought fruit salad and sweet potato biscuits. We drank mimosas and sat down to our feast at a table decorated with colorful party ware (Hobby Lobby has everything!). Shana ordered a cake from Sweet Memories just around the corner from us with a picture of me taken from a snapshot after a cycling event and it was SOOO cute! The bike was absolutely identical in color to Big Blue. And to make it even better it was coconut. There were cards and lovely presents and funny stories and it was wonderful to get together with my friends. We've made plans to get out for some rides this week and get our training off the ground, providing the weather cooperates. Forecasts are not completely encouraging. We discussed swine flu and TV shows and what everyone is up to and generally had a good time reconnecting.

Saturday Alex and Vivian joined Shana and I for breakfast at Beverly's. Vivian is growing up amazingly. While she's still not much of a talker, her potty training proceeds apace and she's mastering the use of a fork very well. As usual, Alex successfully resisted all my efforts to get an image of his face. Digital photography, with its rather slow shutter speed, is not my best ally in this effort.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Going Like Sixty

The Evil Day came and I am now 60 years old. On the good side, I will surely qualify for some senior discounts. On the bad side - well, I guess that's whatever you make of it. I started the celebrations in Denver where I was visiting last week. I'll post details of the visit in a later post. I had cake and cards with Mom, Allie and Richard. We forgot to get ice cream, but that's a bit of absent-mindedness that was probably all to the good, since I seem to be unable to stop eating lately.

On the actual day I had cake and cards at the office, and later went downtown for my choice of birthday dinners. Shana treated me to fancy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at Nonna's in Bricktown. I'd link to them, but it's a madly annoying flash site. Google if you want to see it anyway - it's a beautiful restaurant and their Purple Bar has the prettiest lighting around. It was lovely and low key. The weather was perfect so we sat on the balcony and watched the activity in the street while we enjoyed our treats. Today I'll have breakfast with Shana, Alex, and Vivian. Sunday I'll have a delicious and festive Birthday Brunch at home with friends - way to drag out a birthday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Week in Ordinary Time

I've had a pretty quiet week. It's a good thing for life, not so great for blogging, as I feel like I should be supplying some worthy entertainment with every post. Some bloggers find that the discipline of daily posting gets you over that hump, because there will not always be news, but there is always something to write about if you set the bar low enough. I agree; I love to read about their daily doings and I for myself I enjoy having a quiet life where I can have the pleasure of the little details of life without the exhaustion of great drama or excitement. One day's adventure was getting out of the car to get a closer look and some pictures of a beautiful display of orange and yellow pansies and tulips. I'd been feasting on the sight of them every time I passed, and finally decided to get a closer look before the exuberant Oklahoma Wind blew the tulips to bits.

I also had the great pleasure of getting back in contact with a dear friend from high school. I had not spoken to Emma for about 40 years, but had often thought of her and wondered where life had led her. Now I know a little bit, and will know more as we fill in some of the blanks. It's made me think a lot about friendship and time, and about my own somewhat reclusive personality. I feel like I've played a lot of parts in my life and when I was done with the various phases I just stepped away, closed the door, and never looked back. Getting in touch with Emma has made me look at what parts of my experience I want to reclaim, and what I want for myself in the future.

Maybe it's no coincidence that I'm giving this a lot of thought this month because I am turning 60 in just a few days. I feel good - still healthy and strong, but it's one of those big birthdays that makes you take stock. Some of the things I thought I would like to accomplish are now forever beyond my reach. If I thought I'd like to replicate the voyage of the Kon Tiki I've surely waited too long. Some things I can still do, but given time and strength I will probably end up scaling back a bit. I may hike and backpack on the Appalachian Trail, but I will not be likely to do the whole thing at one go.

And a few completely unrelated bits of information: Because it's spring and there are cute animal babies about I have been looking at quite a few animal cams where you can watch the activity in real time. This one, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, features an eagles' nest including a chick. One thing that stands out for me after watching quite a lot of them, is how little animals do from one minute to the next. All of those Disney Wildlife films I grew up on led me to believe there was a lot going on all the time. Knowing a little more now, and thinking about it a bit, I imagine that if wild animals led as active a life as tight editing had led me to believe, they'd have to eat a whole lot more food!
I've cast on the for the Float Stole from Interweave Knits. I'm hoping that because the stole is worked lengthwise I will have the benefit of the beautiful hand dyed yarn without disastrous pooling or flashing. I'll be bringing it, Mr. Foster, and at least one sock in progress to Denver with me this week for my annual visit. I probably won't do much on any of them, but I hate to arrive anywhere without a project, and one to work on if I don't feel like working on the original. Lord knows yarn is not sold in Denver!

If you are in the habit of picking up the occasion bunch of flowers for your table or for special occasions you could do a lot worse than check out the local Asian market. I was feeling rather blue yesterday, and on her way home Shana picked up some flowers for me at Super Cao Nguyen to cheer me up. For about the same price a the large mixed bunch of flowers at the local American grocery, she got about eight fresh beautiful sprays of orchids. The moral of this story? Don't shun your local ethnic markets. I love to visit them, and prices are generally excellent.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Return of the Siblings

I had a super busy weekend. My oldest "child" came to visit bringing The Little Prince up to be spoiled by grandma and the joint was jumping all weekend.

Saturday morning we had "SibFest" where the siblings got together for brunch and a relaxed visit, including funny stories from every one's childhood. Alex is 21 today - how quickly time passes. I fooled Sam & Alex by telling them to come at 10:00 am while secretly planning for them to be there by 11:00, which is when I thought they'd actually show up. It made for a much more relaxing morning than we would have had if I had counted on them appearing on time. They were happy; I was happy; it was all good.

We had presents for the April birthday celebrants. Everyone got to try out Vivian's new Sit N Spin. I think Jennifer had the most fun with it, and of course we had the inevitable falling and crying. Not by Jennifer. We had purchased our original at a garage sale, and it served well through the abuse of the three big kids. I sold it later at a garage sale still in operating condition but looking a little the worse for wear. This new model is musical, with the inexplicable sound of an eighties disco.

Jennifer and I hit the road to Edmond to visit her friend from high school who has an adorable new baby we hadn't seen yet. We cruised over to her company's house in Bethany to pick up a chest I had from one of her paternal aunts the year Jennifer was born. After that on to Kohl's to check out the bargains (I got a shirt and Jennifer found a cute cardigan) and Walmart for my exciting purchases - household washing products and clothespins. We had thought we'd go out to a local Moroccan restaurant for dinner, but Logan was worn to a nub, so we had Chinese delivered from the place around the corner. Vivian came over to spend the night, and we spent the evening relaxing and playing with the babies.

Sunday We had to make an emergency run to Bass Pro for the Anti Gravity Lounger that was on sale for a great price and guaranteed to sell out before the sale was over. We think this is going to be a big help to relieve Shana's tired back after long hikes. Plus I've seen people napping in them at campsites and I can envision myself enjoying this activity mightily (right after I tie Shana to a tree). I got a waterproof and breathing jacket and two pair of hiking socks that I think will complete my personal gear for our Big Trip and a pair of fleece lined crocs for Vivian. Jennifer picked up a cardigan that was just too cute to leave at the store. Then back to the house we went. Jennifer started back to San Antonio; Vivan and I went to take our naps before going out to dinner with the Birthday Boy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Natasha and The Nun Go To The Dogs

I give up - too much fun to take and post the pictures, but too much work to give them a story every time. Make what you will of them.