It should be a National Holiday*

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(with all due deference to NewMexiKen’s decision that today *isn’t* a candidate for National Holiday. Damn Domenici for busting up my day!)

And on this day, a Karen was born, and it was good.

Until she grew up a little and her family would beg to differ…

So when I was little, my mom was always willing to make whatever cake or pie the birthday kid wanted. I usually chose a cake, a chocolate chip cake. My mom would whip it up out of a box and it was oh so yuuuum. It felt special to have the cake made just for me.

In honor of the kindness my mother showed me all those years, I decided to make my own cake for myself this year.

Mom, you’ll note my layer cake is about as even as all the ones you and I made over the years.

Though in my defense, The Good Man and I have discovered our home on a hill built in the early 1940’s isn’t exactly level anymore. Doors don’t stay open (or closed, depending) and my two layer of cake came out of the oven looking less like a square and more like a right-angled triangle. Can one work a Pythagorean theorem on a cake?

But as I’ve learned over the years, frosting can make up for a multitude of sins. And add a few too.

Last night on Birthday Eve, I endulged in a slab of cake. Not a piece, a slab. And it was gooooooood. Chocolate with vanilla frosting. Yes please!

And I am planning to celebrate even more. I’ve shaken off the birthday blues and enjoying the day. I even scored a few presents at work. How ’bout that!

Looking forward to the surprises The Good Man has in store.

¡Feliz Cumpleaños para ME!

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Oh, an update for the folks who have asked about the progress of Plastic Surgery Kitty.

She’s healing really well.

Here’s a photo from this morning:

The last of the scab came off last night and the wound has healed nicely, is pink and healthy. Looks like she’s come through it just fine! Much better photo than the last one I posted, huh?

Let the celebration begin early!

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Ah yes, I’m a firm believer that celebrations of one’s latest trip around the Sun are more than just a one day event. Oh noooo, there is way too much celebrating to get done that just 24 short hours cannot contain.

So though the actual anniversary of my birth (29 and holding and holding…and, uh, holding!) is tomorrow, the celebrations began Friday.

Tasty dinner and drinks with friends. They were in a bit of a scrap, nothing fatal. It just served to remind me that the greatest present I’ll ever know is the love of The Good Man. Oh, sure, we scrap, but not that night. We held hands and enjoyed the warm evening sitting outside.

Saturday we took a road trip up to wine country. I’m starting to actually enjoy wine country more, despite the hoity aspects of it. The Good Man and I have found ways to enjoy it on our terms. I may not be able to “taste undertones of black cherry and moist fern covered flat stone” in my wine, but I’m starting to circle in on what I think tastes good to my personal buds. Fruity better than dry. Light rather than heavy.

Last year for my birfday, The Good Man and I spent time in Calistoga and visited a small winery, on the advice of my boss (and took in a Cinco de Mayo parade). The place is called Vincent Arroyo Winery and they are a pretty small operation. Mr. Arroyo is a retired engineer who decided to take up winemaking, and he does a fine job of it. They don’t yet sell their product in retail channels, selling most of it by subscription to members.

This small winery has one open house a year where they pull out their odds and ends (called Library Wines) and sell them to the general public. This open house just happens to be the first weekend of May. Works out well as a nice place to celebrate roundabout my birfday.

TGM and I were a bit shocked this year to see how much the event has grown. Last year, the winemaker himself was pouring tastes and patiently answering all my questions. This year it was a really big event with cars parked down the gravel road and many of Napa Valley’s snoot out to play. About that I was displeased.

However, it took a few pours of wine to dramatically change my outlook.

And there was free food, so really, I can’t complain.

It was a gorgeous spring day and the drive was wonderful. We did just a day trip, but yes, oh yes…a good time.

Sunday we went to Maker Faire. I’d heard about this in years past and was emboldened to go this year, because My Personal Jesus, The Crafty Chica was going to be there.

She gave a talk on one of the stages that morning and I not only got her autograph on my book, she was very patient as I TOTALLY geeked out and asked her a sampling of my millions of questions. She gave me amazing advice that I will use.

I’m currently working on a project that someone is actually paying me actual real money for (photos when completed, I promise) and of course doing this “on commission” makes me nervous. The goddess that is Kathy Cano-Murillo reassured me, gave me hints and sent me on my way.

Yay!

And just because I could, I took Monday off. I mean, Cinco de Mayo oughta be a national holiday, am I right?

With all that running around over the weekend, my Monday off was nice and quiet. I even baked up a cake (from a box) and made up a batch of frosting (from a recipe found on the ‘net) that I plan to eat slabs of later today.

And tomorrow for the actual day? Dunno yet. TGM has sumptin’ up his sleeve and in our time together I’ve come to know that his surprises are ALWAYS worth waiting for!

So all in all….I got NOTHING to complain about. Even that whole being a year older thing.

Oh, this past weekend I even got to take out my camera and try out a few things. I’m a bit rusty, to be honest, need more time at this, but a few came out well enough that I’m happy when I see them…mainly for the memories.

Here is something I call “Soon”…as in soon enough those baby grapies are gonna be big grapies and will be squashed into wine and enjoyed fermented out of a bottle. YUM! Such anticipation!

Also, lately, I’ve been playing around with the black and white (or…monochrome) setting on my gear.

The wine tasting was in full gear and there was this HUGE pile of corks and open bottles in various states. I was endlessly fascinated by the whole scene and many folks wondered at the peculiar chick taking photos of, you know, the table. To them I say FEH!

Screeeeeeeech

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: cue the sound of screaming brakes :

Today I flipped the page on my calendar. Yes, I know it’s the second of May. I’m always a tad behind on such things.

And in flipping the calendar, I had a mental hundred car pileup on the heavily trafficked highway of my mind.

I have a birthday next week. No, not a major milestone, but getting *awfully* close to a milestone.

Generally I tend to get real dramatic about a birthday well in advance. Not so this year. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to forget. But nooooo! Time marches on. B*tch. Won’t let you forget.

I guess age is one of those things you can’t do anything about. One can fight about it. One can also shout in a hurricane. Neither is gonna do a lot of good. But it may make you feel better.

I suppose it all comes down to something about not going gently into that good night…with all apologies to Dylan Thomas……

Ah well, I face plant into a cake with buttercream frosting and forget my sorrows. Until the next day when I’ll lament my waistline.

For today, someone done broke the cake: