Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Swan House and Other Lovely Things!

Today's Go Here Thursday theme is swans!  I have a couple of really good ones for you!

First, if you live in, or will be visiting the Atlanta area, go see The Swan House at the Atlanta History Center.

The Swan House
Photo (c) by Kerri at Atlanta Daily Photo blog
Built in 1928 by the Inman family, this 4 bedroom mansion has a swan theme carried out in nearly every part of the interior (around 30, according to popular count; perhaps a few more or less.)

Nearby is the Swan Coach House, a restaurant, gift shop and art gallery all rolled into one.  Lunch is available at the restaurant for a few hours daily, and the gift shop features a ladies boutique, an amazing jewelry selection, and home gifts.  The Swan Coach House is also a popular venue for weddings, receptions, private events and afternoon teas.

The Swan Coach House
Photo (c) Marian Black
You can find out more about The Swan House and the Swan Coach House through the links above, and also by visiting the AHC's Blog and Facebook page.

Also go here to the Franz Porcelain website, where you can browse unbelievably beautiful pieces of porcelain art like this Swan Teapot:
So beautiful!

(Franz Porcelain also has a peacock pattern!)
The teacup is my personal favorite!

And finally, keeping with the theme of swans, here are two of my favorite harp pieces:
"The Swan" from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, performed by harpist Keziah Thomas.  Go to her website (link above) to see a full list of her repertoire.

The Theme from "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky, performed at two tempos (I couldn't find any information on the harpist.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A Mermaid by John Williams Waterhouse, 1901


Recently there has been debate
and wild imagination,
On the subject of mermaids, their temperaments,
and their subaquatic nation.

Pirates* sought a mermaid's tear
And a fountain to keep youth fresh,
But the mermaids which they found then lured the crew
to bloody and violent deaths.

It reminded me of Peter Pan,
written by James M. Barrie;
When the Darling children accompanied Peter
on Adventures, bright and merry.

Wendy pleaded to see the mermaids,
"How sweet!" said she, but upon Peter's worried glance;
"Are mermaids not sweet?" she asks,
He answers, "They'll sweetly drown you, if given the chance."

A hundred years apart, these tales,
yet both comment on the sinister hidden under the fair.
As like the sea in which they live,
these mermaids with long, flowing hair.

But a lighter side to the mermaid, there is-
Captured in this quaint little chant;
Ogden Nash comments not on her personality- or morality-
But simply what she can do and what she can't!

The Mermaid
by Ogden Nash

Say not the mermaid is a myth,
        I knew one once named Mrs. Smith.
                She stood while playing cards or knitting;
          Mermaids are not equipped for sitting.

*Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

Disney's Peter Pan "We were only trying to drown her..."
2003 version of Peter Pan; A great deal more sinister.
The Sleeping Mermaid, by Josephine Wall
Beware White Cap Cove.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Music is the Mirror of my Soul

Happy Last Monday of June, my darlings!

I try to keep a lot of what's happening (at least the negative things) in my personal life from bleeding over into my blog.  I want my followers/readers to look forward to arriving at my pages, to be encouraged or amused or uplifted (or any combination of those), and to come away from a post happy and looking with anticipation towards the next time.

My blog is not a rant.  It is a place for the things I love to be shared with both old friends and friends I haven't met yet.

This being said, I crave your indulgence for one slightly less-than-cheerful selection for this Music Monday.  It has been thunder-storming quite a lot here in the Southeast, and the black clouds seem to be a reflection of my mood and of the things that are happening in my personal life.  You see, dear reader, for all that I am a bright beam of sunshine in most of my posts, I have a broken heart.  I hide it fairly well on a day to day, but sometimes the grief is overwhelming.  In these moments, I turn to music.  I acknowledge the pain and the struggle, and then I focus all of my attention on praising God.  He can heal any hurt, mend any break, and breathe new life into something which seemed for all the world to be dead.  He is the deliverer and redeemer of my soul, my tower of strength, my anchor in these raging storms.

Here, then, are 4 selections that are applicable to my struggles at the moment.  The first is a beautiful piano rendition of the song "My Immortal", originally done by the group Evanescence a few years ago.  This instrumental carries the melody in all the right ways, conveying feelings of grief and anguish, but always with a touch of tenderness and hope.  The second is a song by Natalie Grant that I have always loved.  The lyrics in the beginning deal with the loss of a child, which - PRAISE GOD - I have never experienced.  But her chorus of "how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive" can be applied to other things that happen in life.  The death of my father is one, and there are other, more recent things that don't deal with actual death, but which hurt just as severely.

Acknowledging the pain and moving forward from it, the 3rd and 4th selections, both by the band Casting Crowns, focus on turning to my Comforter and Healer for help.
"If We've Ever Needed You" contains one of my favorite lyrics ever: "With shipwrecked faith..."  That so accurately sums up for me how we respond to a crisis.  But the body of the song is about giving over to the understanding that we can't do anything on our own.  Our very breath is not ours to breathe.  It is given to us with such deep love!  We NEED Him!
"Praise You In This Storm" is all about not waiting until after God does something in our lives, but through the pain, through the roller coaster of emotions, through the most frightening parts of our struggles.  No matter where we are, what has happened, or how impossible the situation seems, He is God and He is in complete control.  

Please enjoy the music, and let Him speak to your heart through it.  If you are not going through a time of trial, I rejoice with you!  He is good!  If, however, you are dealing with some hard things in life, He will comfort you!  He is good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frank's First Visit to St. Simons Island

July 24 & 25, 2009
Not long after we acquired Frank TAA (The Adventurous Ape) in 2009, we took him along with us on vacation to St Simons Island.  Before we left Atlanta, though, a true welcoming to the family was in order. Nowhere in Atlanta says that like The Varsity.  The Georgia Holy Grail of fast food, The Varsity takes the most unhealthy food ever (hamburgers and hot dogs) and transforms it into further artery-choking goodness by dipping it in giant vats of grease.  If you've been to Atlanta, but haven't eaten at the Varsity, then you haven't really been to Atlanta at all!  Here then, is Frank at the Varsity. :)

Once we arrived in south GA, we stayed with my dear friends, Mars and Alan.  Frank wasn't shy:

Alan is a firefighter in Glynn County.  On our way to the beach, we stopped by the station to see him, and he graciously allowed us (and Frank) a tour of one of the trucks!

Do you have a license to drive that, Frank?!

After awhile, we said goodbye to Alan and headed for the beach.  Frank loved the way the sea breeze rippled through his fur, and although he preferred to hang out (quite literally) under our canopy most of the time (salt water being hard to get out of his stuffing), he smiled the whole day.  Me too, Frank.  Me too.

Just hangin' out at the beach. :)


Darlene over at Things I'll Forget By Tomorrow posted this and I had to pass it along!

In the related links, I found this version as well, which I almost like better than the first.
But both are fantastic.  Enjoy!

What song is your heart singing??

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tea Time!

Happy Thursday, Dear Ones.

Just a quick "Go Here Thursday" post today, as I've been working on the housework and laundry and getting dinner for the children all day.  Being a mom is awesome, but it's also exhausting!
Getting to it, then-

Instead of a place to visit, today's GHT is a recommendation for something I get a year's worth of for Christmas, from my Aunt:
July/August 2011 Tea Time Magazine*

I first found Tea Time by absolute chance, in early Sept of 2010, as I was taking a short cut through the book/card/magazine aisle of the grocery.  Tea Time is bi-monthly, so it was the Sept/Oct issue on display and what caught my attention (aside from the GORGEOUS china pattern) was 1) Ideas for a Pink Ribbon themed tea and 2) Tearooms to visit in Southeast England.  I'd been pining for my trip across the Pond and while I knew it would be many months before I could go (and it is many months still), I keep a running list of things I'm interested in possibly seeing when I do finally get to go.  Here is the china that was featured on the cover of that issue, by the way.  It's called "Dhara" by Phillipe Deshoulieres
So so so pretty!

I shop with a list.  If it's not on the list, or we don't absolutely need it, it doesn't go in the cart.  But that day I did something I don't normally do - I clutched the magazine to my chest like I'd just discovered buried treasure, hurried to the check-out, and bought it.  To say that it was worth my $5.00 is a gross understatement.  Each and every page is a complete mental vacation on one hand, and such an inspiration on the other.  For months afterward, I have found myself making shopping lists, mental notes and all sorts of lavish future plans for hosting tea parties that feature the exquisite things I found in those pages.

Being the fall issue, there was an abundance of information on hosting Mystery/Detective themed teas.  There is even a recipe for an unbelievably cute cookie shaped like magnifying glasses!
How cute is that?!

Other recipes in that issue include (but are not limited to)
Parmesan-rosemary Scones
Curried Squash Soup
Goat Cheese and Tapenade Sandwich Stacks
Roast Beef and Horseradish Tea Sandwiches
Bacon and Roasted Garlic Arancini (risotto balls)
Pear Cheesecake Bites

There is also this yummy goodness, called "Sugarplum Dobosh Cake"
Oh my Lands, Y'all!  Seriously!
My Aunt had been gifting me a subscription to Southern Lady Magazine - which I loved.  Tea Time is made by the same people who make Southern Lady.  After my Sept/Oct issue find, I unabashedly begged her to swap to Tea Time for Christmas.  She graciously agreed and thus far I am the super proud owner of half a dozen issues, each one seemingly more beautiful than the last!

One thing that I love about the magazine's layout is that it isn't just randomly thrown together.  The content always changes, of course, but there are distinct section headings that I adore:

Lorna Reeves, the Editor, shares a letter to her readers in Editor's Letter.
Readers share back with Dear Tea Time
There is a Tea Events Calendar, which features tea events in several states. (sometimes much to my chagrin.  Like the July/August issue I got yesterday that features the 4th Annual Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, KY. I wanna go!!! [but can't this year] :P)
There is a sort of "best of" merchandise page called Necessary Things that features cool products.
The Perfect Cup gives advice on how to make a great cup of tea, from the type of water you use, to caffeine content choices and more.
Turning The Tables shows ideas for place settings, decorating, themes and more.
Tea Wares highlights a particular item and gives a history and information on it.  Teapots, different kinds of spoons (tea, iced-tea and sugar, to name a few), tea infusers and teacups have all been featured in the issues I own.
The Tea Diaries is a one page personal story from a contributor that tells of tea time memories with mothers or daughters or grandmothers, birthday teas, girl's day out, etc.  Sort of like the "Chicken Soup For... " stories, but always about tea. :)
The Fine Print is a page devoted to books that feature tea.  Tea dictionaries, histories, mysteries, fiction, etiquette, handbooks and recipe books.
Of course in every issue, there is a Recipe Index, Advertiser's Index and Reader's Resource pages where you can take what you've seen and go get it/do it for yourself! :D

And peppered throughout these constants is an endless parade of articles (usually themed for the season) and photos and recipes.  The November/December issue features a full out Dickens themed tea for Christmas, replete with roasted goose, chestnut stuffing and plum pudding!!! Sighs of happiness.

Please GO HERE: to the Tea Time Magazine Website where you can get a subscription, plus check out all sorts of extras and online only recipes and features.

Also, living in the south, I was so pleased to see this page of the website devoted to taking tea in Atlanta!
If you are an Atlanta local like I am, you could also use that as your Go Here Thursday! :)

*All photos, except for the Dhara china, belong to Tea Time Magazine.  The Dhara china photo was found here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Double Feature! You're welcome.

I know that last week's Poetry Wednesday also came from the pen of the inimitable Ogden Nash, but I'll be honest about the source:

While the children were away on holiday last week, I got the chance to actually spend more than 5 minutes inside the local library.  As in, browsing the shelves to see if anything caught my eye!  A rarity!  I happened upon a marvelous tome titled "The Best of Ogden Nash, 548 Favorite Poems From America's Laureate of Light Verse".  I remembered that Nash had written verses to accompany a favorite musical piece of mine, The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens.

I decided to see what else Nash's imagination had created.

Here are two that I especially like, from the chapter called "A Nashional [sic] Menagerie".  Enjoy!

(Source unknown)

The Phoenix
Deep in the study
Of eugenics
We find that fabled
Fowl, the Phoenix.
The wisest bird
As ever was,
Rejecting other
Mas and Pas,
It lays one egg,
Not ten or twelve,
And when it's hatched
Out pops itselve.

Wonderful Art by Dot at

The Octopus
Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Today's Music Monday (though a bit late) is a nod to tomorrow being the first day of summer.

But before I get to that, here's a quick update on the state of things here...
I've mentioned before that whenever we have a particularly bad day, DH and I watch and/or listen to "A Midsummer Night's Dream".  It seems to be spot on for this midsummer day, since today was positively rotten.  Nothing went the way it was supposed to.  :(  As a result of today's non-productiveness, as well as the issues it seems to have brought to light, I have even more on my plate than ever before.

Tomorrow begins by taking 10 year old daughter to Children's Health Care of Atlanta to have her broken wrist (happened Friday) seen about.  We're not sure if it can simply be set in a cast (this is what we all hope and pray for) or if (God forbid) she has to have surgery and be put under anesthetic so an orthopedic surgeon (who undoubtedly makes 100x our combined annual salary; I am clearly in the wrong line of business) can set it and then put it in a cast.

I think another " :( " goes here.

God is in control.  Period.  I have to trust Him.  He has blessed us with extended family who is willing to drop everything and help us out however they can.  I know that if we lived far away, like in another state or something, that these trials would be infinitely harder to handle; in fact, we may have sunk a long time ago, if that were the case.

Every single one of the issues that I am facing right now can- and will- be dealt with.  I'm strong, smart, and submissive to the Lord's will.  I am willing to trust Him and see what sorts of amazing things He does!  And what's more, I will praise His name the entire time!!!

So in honor of summer, dear readers, here is Vivaldi's "Summer" movement, from "The Four Seasons" Violin Concerto.  I hope your summer is going well!

PS- I found this beautiful work of art that I had to share.  It's titled "Instant of Summer" by Red-feniks on
Source/Red-feniks' Gallery

Friday, June 17, 2011

Frank Goes to the Hydrangea Festival

2 weeks ago in Douglasville, Frank tagged along to the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.  Here he is, having a marvelous time and making new friends. :)

Frank with Linda Britt, president of the Douglas County Art Guild

Frank learns wood turning from DCAG member Steve Pritchard

Frank and I pose with the festival coordinator, Suzanne Kennedy-Huff at her booth.
Not the greatest pic of me, but it was 98 degrees F, and I also had to sneeze.
 But this is not about me, it's about Frank, and he looks fabulous.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pining for the Seaside

After last nights storms, I wish more than ever that I lived by the ocean so that this morning I could go see what washed up on the shore.  I need the beach.  No, not "a place to get away from it all".  I NEED to eventually make my home there.  I am physically better when I have spent a few days breathing the sea air.  When I come back, I feel my sinuses closing up again about the time we get to Macon.  When I visited Marilyn in Destin, FL, I found myself gulping great quantities of air, as though I could somehow store it in my lungs to live off of when I get back home. :(

So for today's "Go Here Thursday", I give you:

Jekyll Island is situated just below St. Simons Island (whose praises you have heard me sing before, and will hear again.)  From Brunswick, you simply take Glynn Ave. south until you cross over to the island and Jekyll Island Road.

View Larger Map

Jekyll is best seen by bicycle tour.  It has a million and one things to do, all on the one tiny island, but my two favorite places are The GA Sea Turtle Center and Jekyll Books at The Old Infirmary.

Sea turtles are my favorite ocean animal.  The Sea Turtle Center helps rehabilitate injured or ill turtles and releases them back into the wild.  It is an AMAZING place.  I told my Gran about it, and she said she would like to see it, so there may be a trip to Jekyll in my summer plans soon, after all. :)
The admission is only $6 for adults, and the proceeds go right back into the center to help with the operational costs.  I can't wait to go back!  Here are a couple of sneak peeks:

Jekyll books has absolutely everything in the way of books, magazines, gifts, and beach decor.  It's fantastic.  I need at least 2 hours to browse through everything in its 14 themed rooms when I visit!  There is even a pirate themed room!

I'm ready to go pack my beach bag now.  Towel, sunscreen, swimsuit, blanket, lounge chair and a purchase from Jekyll Books before I find my spot in the sand and I'll be all set! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More Birthday Week Fun

Painting by Jean Raoux
I'd already planned on finding something for today's Poetry Wednesday from the "Best of Ogden Nash" book that I picked up from the library.

Imagine my amusement when, on page 47, I found this lovely little verse:


Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda sits a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who made the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then-
How old is Spring, Miranda?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Blog Award!!!

Sarah McCabe over at The Aspiring Sub-creator gave me the Versatile Blogger award!

Thank you, Sarah!  I'm glad you enjoyed my Hugh Laurie Birthday post.  And I'm glad you also knew him from A Bit of Frye and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. (How I love BBC). :)  And thank you also for good wishes for my own birthday.

So the rules are:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you. (See above.)
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 0-100 deserving blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Here's my 7 random:
1. At this moment, my toenails are painted Cotton Candy Pink (Avon speed-dry enamel). Pink toenails are the girliest thing ever.
2. My favorite chocolate indulgence is a Cadbury's Turkish Dairy Milk bar.  I have a good friend in England who ships them to me a few times a year, since they are so hard to find here.
3. Although it's a bit obvious from my blog name that peacocks are my favorite bird, owls come in as a close second favorite.
4. When I was 7 I won first place award in the entire elementary school for an essay I wrote, about "What Easter Means To Me".
5. I've got a BH&G scented candle on my nightstand that is pretty awesome.  Shimmering Cherry Blossom.  Smells so good.
6. As long as I feel safe, I love to watch thunderstorms rage outside.  Ultimate goal = living where I can watch them rage at the beach.  Awesomeness.
7. When I was in labor with my son and doped up on pain killers, I told my husband to leave the hospital, drive across town to Tucker, GA and return a green bowl that I had borrowed from our church pianist's wife.  He knew I didn't really want him to leave the ROOM while I was having the baby, let alone the hospital.  We don't know where near Tucker the pianist and his wife lived.  I never borrowed a green bowl from them.  In fact, she told me later that they don't even have a green bowl I could have borrowed if I'd wanted to.  Ah, the joys of IV meds during childbirth!

And now on to passing along the award!

Chris at Where The Pavement Ends blogs about everything from mudding trucks, to summertime in TN, to preparing for his upcoming wedding.  I'd say that's plenty versatile.

Pamela at From The House Of Edward was one of the first blogs I started following, and they don't get any more versatile than hers.  Every post is an enchanting mix of beautiful images and carefully chosen words.  The whole blog is simply decadent.  Posts on everything from the blog's namesake (a shaggy and wonderful sheepdog named Edward), to book recommendations, to the perfect rain coat, the Royal Wedding, tree houses and trips to Scotland.  Just. Gorgeous.

Su at Cheekyness is a student, runner, reader and writer, among many other things.  I love her blog, and she always leaves the sweetest comments on my posts.

Adam at Meet Adam Jones has been a friend of mine for 15+ years or so.  Not only is his blog versatile (and hilarious), he's a pretty versatile human being in and of himself and I am always richer for my time spent talking with him.

There were going to be 5 recipients, but some of the others that I love and follow either have taken a break for the summer, or already have the versatile blogger award.  So visit these 4 and show them some love and attention.

Happy Belated Birthday, Hugh Laurie!

I didn't realize it, but Hugh Laurie's birthday is the day before mine!  He turned 52 last Saturday.

Raise your hand if you knew who Hugh Laurie was before he was Dr. Gregory House with an American accent?

To celebrate, here are two of my favorite clips of his fantastic sense of humor:

My personal favorites of his many, many roles:

As the grumpy Mr. Palmer in Sense and Sensibility, 1995

As the King's Advisor in The Man In The Iron Mask, 1998

Alongside the incomparable Rowan Atkinson in BBC's comedy Blackadder
As Mr. Little in Stuart Little, 1999

As the irritatingly smug, yet always brilliantly correct Dr. Gregory House on House
Happy Birthday, Mr. Laurie!

My Followers List Just Got Way Cooler

Jennifer Hillier, Author of the new thriller novel "CREEP"

During the April A-Z blogfest, I ended up following the blog of Jennifer Hillier over at The Serial Killer Files.  To be honest, I'm not really sure how I ended up at her blog.  She didn't do the A-Z, but we share followers/blogs we follow, so it's likely I was just chasing links by other A-Z bloggers and found her corner of the web.  However it happened, she is brilliant!  She's a writer and had just finished her first thriller novel called "Creep".  (I'll come back to this in just a second, so please stay with me here.)

Now, I'm pretty careful about what I read, and I try to steer clear of anything with much sex or violence in it because I want the few hours of "reading for entertainment" time that I get to leave me with something enriching and encouraging.  But on occasion I do like to read a murder thriller for the mystery of it.  There is a human draw to things macabre.  Some people watch horror movies.  I read thriller novels.  (I know. I'm so fearless.)

Every great once in a while, I like reading about something that is more complex, twisted and sinister than hopefully anything I will experience in my real life. (Ever.)  I like to see the resolution that comes at the end.  The acknowledged fact that character X is majorly screwed up, mentally, but when they go on a killing spree to assuage their sick, psychological tortured self, there is always someone is there to draw the line.  I love a suspenseful chase that ends with the killer being caught and their heinous crimes stopped.  It makes me feel... safer.  Like maybe since I got to "know" the character by reading about them, that the author stopped them at the end before they could make me or mine their next target.

Oh, I know it's all fiction, and I don't live in any kind of paranoia.  But a really good author will leave me with that chilly, tingling "Thank heavens no one I know is like this and goes barking mad and starts killing everyone!" feeling down my spine.  I don't indulge in it often, like I said, because I have such limited reading time.

Back to Jennifer Hillier: I love her blog.  I loved reading the process of how she got "Creep" published, including getting the cover art done for it, etc., plus a lot of her other posts that were about adjusting to life changes, staying calm when the computer goes nuts, and basically other "life" stuff in general.  She wrote a great post on Mother's Day, about how her mom is the reason she writes thrillers.  It was instantly one of my favorites. So funny!

Her candor in the posts about having "Creep" reviewed was really endearing.  And her writing style in her posts is so articulate, I really found myself just pulled in and interested in pretty much everything she posted about.  There was a whole series about her research on women's correctional facilities and how she got to visit one to learn more about it.  Since I have been raised to live my life in a manner that would not ever take me into, through, past or remotely near a prison, it was really neat to read about her interviewing the warden(s) and what a typical day is like at one.  I think people should, every now and then, expand their minds by learning about something that is on the opposite end of the spectrum of what they know of daily life.  Well done with that series, Jennifer.  I learned a lot.

Just a couple of weeks ago when I was posting about how crazy things have been here and how I was mad at Blogger for shutting down and all, I glanced at my followers list and saw Jennifer's profile photo.  Really?  A published novelist is following The Modest Peacock??  Suddenly I felt like one of the cool kids.  It seriously made my week!  So thanks for the return follow, Jennifer.  I hope you get a kick out of some of what I post.  I feel like the bar has been raised.  I hope to become a better blogger over time, and having a "for real" author (or two or three eventually!) following makes me more aware of my own writing style.

Please go check out her blog, if you've made it down to here without clicking on the above links.  She's fantastic and I can't wait to read "Creep" when it hits the bookshelves next month!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I didn't get up as early as I was supposed to this morning.  But that's ok, because the kids are not being rushed off to school, there is a later exercise class that I can go to today, and the laundry will wait patiently til I get to it.

So as I get some steam built up and start cleaning and organizing today, here is my favorite piano piece (also from my favorite movie!) for you to enjoy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Age Is Just A Number, Right? RIGHT??!!

It's after midnight, so today is officially June 11, which means I missed this week's Frank Friday.  Again.  I'm sorry, y'all.  Things are all going bonkers around here and I just haven't had time.  It also means that tomorrow I'll turn:
Or as I've also seen it:
29 ish
29.95 + tax
10,958 days old
18 with 12 years experience.

I don't freak out at birthdays.  I usually pretty much revel in them and use them as justification for every indulgence I'm allowing myself.  I know that in the scheme of things, 30 is still just a baby.

Sure, there are moments this week when I've been thinking of Sunday looming ahead and realizing that there is a lot in my life that I thought would be different/better at this stage of the game.  I'm not in a solid career or even making a full time income (even by calculating with minimum wage as a starting point).
I thought surely I'd be out on my own with my family again and in our own space by now, after losing our house nearly 5 years ago, but we aren't and won't be for possibly another few years yet.  I had hoped that by 30 I would have been able to finish college, but that looks like it will continue to be put on a back burner for a long time as well.  So, no.  Things aren't what I thought they'd be...

I can't pretend that I'm not a bit disappointed with my mom's lack of interest in this milestone birthday.  She said in passing (those are the only conversations we have lately, unless it's her nagging me to clean something or handle someone) that she assumed I'd made plans with my friends.  All of my friends are scattered through different states, and have busy lives of their own.  We're too spread out for parties or gatherings.  I wanted to go with some girlfriends to the beach, but with gas being as high as it is... that more or less went out the window.

I know I'll get plenty of Facebook birthday love and comments, and I look forward to that.  But mom could have done something.  A cake. Or flowers.  Something to mark the big 3-0.  I'm sure it makes her feel older, to see me hit milestone birthdays.  So I guess I shouldn't be surprised or let down.  Our relationship is barely breathing and she makes it plain every day that my family living here is a huge inconvenience to her.  There are comments that start "If this were my house...".  But it isn't.  It's her mother's and Gran tells me every day how much she loves having us here and what a help we are.

Gran will offer to keep the kids so that Jake and I can go out for a date night.  She always does that on either of our birthdays or our anniversary, which is sweet of her.  We'll likely stay in and watch a movie or something.  Jake's working long, hard hours, and is completely beaten down by the time the week ends.  I hate to see him so tired and worn out, but that's the nature of his job and the summer hours are "get 'em while you can" because in the winter the days are shorter and the weather nasty, so the paychecks are smaller and have to last longer.

But I'm happy.  Money can't buy the awesome things that I have.  Like my 4 kids.  (Well, alright, so they are grossly expensive to maintain, but still.)  No income in the world would be worth trading for Emily's laugh, Charles' hugs, Jeremy's patience or Jennifer's sweet spirit.  They make me richer than any queen that's ever lived.  And my freedom to dream and create, too.  I love what I'm allowed to do with my time and talents and I keep learning so much as I go!

Earlier, I went through my big tote of photos that still need to be put into albums, and I laughed and cried in turns at baby pictures and memories.  I missed my Dad so much I almost couldn't breathe.  I looked back at my high school days and band camp and college.  I have been blessed beyond reckoning.

So bring it on, Sunday!  I'm ready to be a tricenarian, and make the next decade even better than the last!  I have a list of goals to be met.  I'm excited to get started and see where it all leads.

And there will be cake and cards from Jake's family.  Just the small group of us makes the best birthday parties EVER.

Happy Birthday to me! :)

Last night at Jake's Grandmother's house, we had beef stroganoff for dinner.  It was funny because the wind kicked up pretty hard and irritated a power line somewhere, so the power went off for nearly an hour.  As people were trying to cook ground beef.  On an electric stove.  So Heather (my amazing, wonderful sister in law who is determined to take over the world by saying please and thank you) took the pots out to the grill (yes, you heard correctly).  The power came back on just as everything was done and we were ready to sit down.  Of course. :)

After dinner Heather made a show of keeping me busy in conversation while Jake put candles on a cake that Aunt K had brought for me.  It had my name on it and everything!  They all sang to me and I blew out all the candles in one go.  I didn't get any pics before we ate it, though.  They put 24 candles in the cake (because that's how many come in a box, apparently) so we said I was 24 with 6 years experience.  And then cracks were made about how more than one entire box of candles on a cake is not recommended by the GA fire safety commission, etc. etc. Hardy har har. :D

We then played cards for the next 2 hours, at which I lost spectacularly.  Unless you like hoarding points, in which case I trumped them all. :)

It was wonderful and I have had a fantastic birthday.