Yesterday was my birthday and it started out as a blustery, cold, and gray day. I know one ought not to let the weather effect one's mood, but I was sorely tempted yesterday toward a slightly brooding mood. I read my book all morning. It was a pretty good book, but really, Mary, all morning?
I wasn't paying much attention to the kids, but the middle aged kids seemed to be somewhat absent all morning. They have a little garden space behind our willows, so I assumed they had been busy out there.
After we ate our dinner, I rallied the troops to get the kitchen cleaned up quickly, while the little ones were in quiet time, then I went out and wandered around my yard, looking at the bushes, trees and other new plantings. I noticed that there were some cars at church, but since there periodically are people in and out, I didn't really think anything of it.
As I approached the end of the yard nearest the church, one of the neighbors, Shirley, came out to visit me a few minutes. This also is not unusual. I often wander down to church to visit whoever is there, or if they see me out and about they come up and visit with me.
After we visited a few minutes, Shirley asked me if I was ready for my party. Party? She suggested I get my shoes on and come down to church. I was just in my grubbies, so I hurried in and changed quickly, and I even took time to run a brush through my hair and brush my teeth. Then I hustled down to church to see what awaited me.
My kids and a couple of the neighbor ladies had arranged a little surprise party for me. It all started, I'm told, on Saturday when Clara and Sophie worked for Connie for a little while, picking up sticks in her yard. That is when the plotting began. Connie's husband, Kelly, has a birthday the day before mine, so she often thinks of me on my birthday, and brings over a cake or a little something. But apparently she and my girls went whole hog this time.
Connie, Annabelle, Muriel, Shirley, Lori, and Lana, along with my kids and a couple of Lana's grandkids, and Joe came to celebrate my birthday. They had coffee and lemonade, angelfood cake with strawberries and whipped cream, dougnuts, and some leftover cake from the church confirmation celebration. The ladies had cards and gifts for me. My girls had made a banner with birthday wishes, and a guest book with space for comments. I felt very spoiled and loved.
Last night, Joe and Clara had to run off by 5:00 or a little after, for the final class of the current session of fire arms safety training. Joe teaches for up to three sessions a year. Apparently the DNR is moving toward on-line training only, with a range day being the only time the kids actually handle a weapon around the instructors. (Joe is not in favor of this, even though it will be less time commitment for the instructors.) Thankfully, Clara got in on a classroom rendition of the class, before they become obsolete.
So our evening here was quiet yesterday. I did some work outside and then on the computer; most of the kids watched a movie. Louisa made a nice fried rice supper for us.
Today, I walked with my girlfriends, worked in my flower beds, and helped Joe fix the church swingset. I lifted sod off another 4x6 foot area for the new flower bed I'm making. Then I had space to plant the dahlias that Lana gave me. I've never planted Dahlias before. I tend to not do things that have to be dug in the fall. But since Lana has so many, she said to just take them and enjoy them for this year, and if I didn't dig them up, it was no great loss. Schwoo! I'm off the hook for that, I guess. So I got the sod moved; Joe moved the last three rolls for me. And I got the dahlias tucked in nicely. I hope the kids leave that nice black dirt alone long enough for the plants to come up.
Louisa planned a special birthday dinner for me tonight, when we could all be home for supper. She made two chocolate cheesecakes this morning. This afternoon, she made garlic Parmesan bread. And for supper she made a sundried tomato pasta and a fancy salad. It all turned out wonderfully, especially considering that all the items were gluten free, which takes a little more thought and effort than traditional baking.
It was a treat! About halfway through supper, Louisa said we should have a fancy wine with it. I think she was just kind of joking, but it reminded me that we had one more bottle of wine our friend, Jaime, had made. Joe got it out and gave everyone a little bit. The bigger the child, the bigger the "little bit." It made everything seem all the more festive. We all came up with toasts to various things we like or are thankful for about each other. It was great fun.
And we didn't forget to toast the chef, Louisa, for her excellent fare.