Monday, May 14, 2018

Nana and the Really Big Number of Candles on the Cake. . .

I don't know about you, but I didn't expect this stage of my life to be quite so busy.  It makes me think about how much got swept aside, tabled, pushed to the back burner -- all the idioms, in fact, and interesting that the ones that spring to mind are so kitchen-oriented -- in deference to work. . .
The weekend's doings? Over three hours dedicated to a mission to repair my iPhone, which turned into a decision to replace it, which then turned into an extended negotiation with our mobile service provider to get the best deal on a two-year contract.  Ugh! But at least I have a new phone with decent storage and battery life -- and a plan with ample data -- to take on our travels, which begin this Friday.

Then opera Saturday night -- a great production of a contemporary opera, The Overcoat (based on Gogol's short story). Very entertaining and thought-provoking; a good way to close out the season.

And then Sunday morning, not long after I'd finished my gym workout downstairs, my family completely surprised me with a joint Mother's Day/Happy Birthday Nana brunch, right in our condo -- where, I hadn't noticed, Pater had filled the fridge with three dozen eggs, a dozen breakfast sausages, orange juice, Prosecco -- all the good stuff!


The Littles had chosen some sweet small gifts (a pop-socket for my new phone, courtesy of a Nine who knows about the latest tech aids; and a small star-shaped silver trinket box, just the right size for my hearing aids -- a Five had noticed that I like to store these on my night table, so thoughtful; the Three's contribution was the heartiest Surprise! plus his reluctant willingness to wait until after frittatas for me to cut the cake).

Of course, the best presents was the Presence of my loved ones (I wish all of them could have been here, but two of the four families is not bad!), especially the generosity of my daughters in giving up their own Mother's Day breakfasts-in-bed to humour the guy who thought I deserved a surprise gathering for a Really Big Number of Candles! (my birthday's not until Thursday, but he co-opted their Mother's Day with no shame ;-). . . And my beautiful sons-in-law who brought a salad and a wonderful Pavlova-inspired cake. . .

Sunday evening, as I write this, Pater and I are mooching on the leftovers and thinking about the week ahead -- a quick jaunt over to the island to see our son's family, and then back to finish packing and readying the condo for those who will be here while we're away (all those lists!!).

But I'm still thinking about that post on Authenticity, so I'll be back here again tomorrow with a few observations.

I've also uploaded some photos of Almost-Spring outfits I wore over the last few weeks, and I'll post those this week as well -- although we've leapt into sustained sunshine in the low 20s, so I'm in dress rehearsal now for the even warmer weather we'll be enjoying in Croatia next month. . .

One of those transitional outfits I'll be posting about later. Last week, I needed the jacket walking to meet a friend for coffee; today, not only would it -- and the scarf -- have been superfluous, but the dress would probably have been too warm. . . 


As well, I do remember that I offered, quite a few weeks ago, to say something about how we choose train destinations and routes, and how we book and buy our tickets. Since then, however, all my carefully made plans have been thrown into disarray by the SNCF (French rail) labour action -- turns out that each of our train travel days falls on a day designated for possible strikes or slowdowns. I've decided that I'll wait until we have this challenge behind us before I offer my experience here. Meanwhile, cross your fingers for us, would you?

First, though, that jaunt to the island to cuddle a chubby little guy and his big sister. . . Busy days. . . Happy days. . .

36 comments:

  1. What a guy is that guy of yours! Lovely thought. Lovely that the other mums focused on your day.
    Happy upcoming big number of candles birthday. I think maybe it's one that triggers a monetary gift from the "guvamint" as they say down east.
    You look fabulous in your casual, smart spring attire. Aren't we all glad that sneakers became chic? I love them with skirts and dresses.
    Have a great time in Croatia. Say hello to Dottoressa for me if your paths cross. xo

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    1. Thanks! And yes, that's the birthday! Not sure the monetary gift is worth the ageing, but since I'll be doing the latter anyway, it's better than a kick in the head, right? ;-)
      And as for Croatia and our friend, they will, and I will. . .

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  2. So many nice things here (I did stop for a little daydream at the Pavlova-inspired cake). But I had forgotten, because I have no little people in my life right now, the charming thoughtfulness of their gift choices. Your heart must feel very full.

    This exciting week of visiting and travel preparation (with maybe a touch of 'why am I doing this?') will fly by...and from me, too, if you see D., please say hello :)

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    1. It was such a good cake. . .
      Yes, they were so charmingly thoughtful and pleased that I remarked on their thoughtfulness -- full heart indeed.
      You're spot on about the touch of "why am I doing this" -- we've got everyone but one small family meeting up at the instigation of the Rome crew, though, so the question's well answered. And I will see her, and I will say hello.

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  3. How lovely! What a wonderful family and thoughtful young members!
    Hm,Pavlova cake and Prosecco-perfect!
    Dottoressa

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  4. Sounds like a lovely day. And I'll wish you an early Happy Birthday, which we'll toast later ;-)

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    1. Thank you -- I'm looking forward to the toast together . xo

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  5. It sounds as though you had a wonderful day with so many of your family! I especially like the hats. There are a lot of advantages to being that age. The summer clothing definitely needs to come out and I'm sure that your holiday time will be even warmer. Enjoy your sunny day!

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    1. Those are good hats, aren't they? And this sunshine -- hope you're getting outside, even with being back at work. . .

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  6. What a great day. Happy Happy!
    I also sometimes wonder how I fit work in before.....
    Another smart outfit - seems like we have gone straight into summer here with a short 5 minute spring!
    Have a wonderful trip, hopefully you'll not be too inconvenienced by that strike. As I read many moons ago (and try to follow), plan as best you can and once at the airport "go with the flow".
    Thanks for posting, Suz from Vancouver

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    1. Thanks, Suz!
      Yes, it feels almost summer. . .
      And I agree with your approach to travel. After all, if we wanted predictable, we could just stay home. . .

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  7. A perfect Mother's Day celebration and such thoughtful birthday gifts!
    Wishing you a very happy birthday this Thursday...
    sounds like you'll be celebrating all week...bravo!

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    1. Thanks, L!
      I do count on a week of celebration -- gotta make the most of this big number. ;-)

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  8. A very happy post-Mother's Day and advance birthday to you. The weather in the PNW was beautiful Saturday and Sunday, I hope you got that too. xoxo.

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    1. Wasn't it a good way to see that new city you'll be visiting regularly? Hope you had good luck there. . .

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  9. I had to get a new phone as well last week and it was not easy making the transition from an android to an iPhone, mainly because my android was so old that I thought my head would explode from the effort to transfer data from one to the other. However, all is well now, so onward!

    It sounds like you had a really sweet Mother's Day/Birthday celebration with your family - family celebrations are the best!

    slf

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    1. I'm glad you've got through the worst of that phone transfer. I'd switched to an iPhone three years ago, so the transfer was easy enough this time, although I was really nervous about it. Worst part was simply trying to buy the silly thing and pick the best contract. Who'd think it would take three hours?!
      It really was a lovely celebration. simple and heartfelt.

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  10. Wishing you a happy and wonderful day on your upcoming Birthday! Children and grandchildren are the best. Love the Happy Birthday Nana hats. The picture of your chic outfit would be perfect here today. Rainy, windy and in the mid 60's, at my neck of the woods. I hope Strasbourg is still on your travel radar. As a military family, we were stationed three times in Europe, twelve years total. Strasbourg and Colmar were the first France cities hubby and I visited. We didn't make it to Paris until 1989. Paris, Rome and London...heady stuff for a gal raised in a tiny pin dot, in the South Pacific.

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    1. Once again I forgot to sign off on my post. Thanks. Amelia

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    2. We'll only be in Strasbourg an overnight stay, to catch a train, but I'm looking forward to that quick visit. Lucky you to have spent all that time in Europe.

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  11. An early Happy Birthday. Your surprise party sounds full of well-deserved shared love. Enjoy the opera, which intrigues me. I'll have to look it up.

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    1. I think you'd enjoy the opera -- libretto (by Morris Panych) and score (composer James Rolfe) are Canadian. . .

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  12. We’re on our favourite Scottish island of Mull this week & I've thought of you missing your lovely island . I feel quite sad leaving here each time & that’s after just a week . But this post shows the real advantages for you , a surprise family breakfast party . That would have been tricky on the island . What a nice bunch they are . I wonder if you’ve seen this article https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2018/may/05/worlds-best-rail-journeys-train-travel . Lots of ideas for your next trip . Think of it as an early birthday present :)
    Wendy from York

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    1. Islands really get their hooks into you and I still carry some grief, no question. But I'm so glad that you can see me taking advantage of what the city offers us -- much of that having family so near. And they really are a nice bunch, thank you!
      I'm bookmarking The Guardian article -- wow! some spectacular train journeys there! Thank you!

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  13. In this country we are extremely superstitious about early birthday wishes or celebrations. So I am not going to touch that topic until later (although I was very moved by the sweet presents you received).
    I am quite awed by the amount of travelling and organizing you are cramming into this last week before your departure! It appears that you are mainly staying west and south of the Alps, so there does not seem to be a chance for meeting you. Such a shame. Some other time, I hope.

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    1. We will have a couple of days in Munich, but it looks too far to hope to meet up with you, am I right?

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  14. I enjoyed reading about the LOVE expressed to you in wonderful, warm, creative ways this past Sunday! Your sweet appreciation of all is what endears you to so many... Happy Birthday and Happy Travels!
    Charlene H

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    1. Thank you, Charlene. I do feel well loved! ;-)

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  15. Happiest of birthdays and Mother’s Day!

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  16. Oh, I missed this yesterday, but I still have time to wish you a Happy Birthday when it comes. Best of luck with all that you still have to do before you leave, safe journey and have a lovely trip.

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  17. What a wonderful Mother’s Day ... so much thought and love obviously went into your celebrations! As Sue said “what a guy is that guy of yours” :) Your outfit features some of my favourite combinations, love a denim jacket layered with a scarf over a dress or tee.
    I’ve become quite fond of Strasbourg over the years after many many miles of walking and exploring! I hope that you get to see some of it. Maybe chance for a short evening or early morning walk?... hope the sun shines!
    Happy Birthday for tomorrow and safe and happy travels. Love to D when you see her.
    Take care, looking forward to travelling vicariously!
    Rosie

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  18. Oh Happy Birthday! I know it is still a (tiny) bit early but celebrations should be ongoing things. This was such a happy post, and I love these glimpses of celebration and the every day. Have a great trip, many adventures, but also just peaceful abundance. And thank you again for sharing...

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  19. Happy birthday and safe travels to you.

    (Love the shelves you have on the wall in the first photo. I'm looking for solutions/storage/shelves at the moment, so I notice all that kind of stuff)

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  20. Reading this on the day - so Happy Birthday, Frances! You were well celebrated, and perhaps there will be more to come.

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