In which I tell you all the fun things I did for my birthday

This year my birthday fell on a Saturday, hurrah!

And of course I managed to start the celebration early. A little spending money last week at Fiber Frolic, then Friday evening A took me to see Book Club at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor. Even though I have lived here for more than 20 years, I have never been to this quaint little movie theater/pizza place before. A definite bucket list item. The pizza was quite expensive but delicious.

The movie was good if you didn’t expect Oscar-worthy. It was fun and a little bit predictable. The four main characters seemed to play themselves, but it worked. There were some laugh out loud moments.

I will say that apparently, based on who was in the theater, you have to be female and a certain age to enjoy it, but as I am both, I did!

We stopped for ice cream and still were home by 9! I do love an early movie!

Saturday started with delicious crepes for breakfast, and then my friend Crimson Crow came over so we could go off gallivanting. A wanted to stay home to bake a cake and work on the bookcases. That, and we were going places she didn’t care about.

Our first stop was at Fernwood Nursery and Gardens  in Montville, about 45 minutes away. It’s one of those places like Reel Pizza. Drive by the turn off all the time, but never when we have time to stop. And I read their blog faithfully, love it!!! So this was a definite birthday trip stop.

OMG it was gorgeous! I never knew shade plants could be so colorful and fragrant.

I took a few photos.


They do not do the place justice!

I tried to buy a hollyhock for our front garden, but Denise insisted I take it as a birthday gift! Crimson Crow had let on why were out and about. I will definitely visit there again when we need plants, everything looked so lovely and healthy. maybe after Step brother J comes and spends a few days with my pile of gravel and blackberries?

From there we headed back toward Belfast, and stopped in at a local yarn shop, Heavenly Socks, in the new location. It is a much bigger space and it is SO NICE. I never cared for its little basement location, it was too small and crowded to move or see the yarn. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the new shop is, and how much locally produced or dyed yarn there is.

And I would like it noted that I bought NOTHING there. This time. Not how to support an LYS, but a good way to support my checkbook!

Then we ambled over to Bell the Cat for lunch, also in its new location, and delicious as always.

Our last planned stop was a junk shop in Stockton Springs. I drive past it twice every Saturday on my way to and from Whorls and Purls, and I always wanted to stop and check it out. It was a whole lot of junk and a few treasures. We didn’t get into pricing with the owner, but the few things that were tagged were quite pricey. If I go back to check out any of the things that caught my eye, I will be doing some haggling, for sure.

From there we decided to stop at the grocery store for supper makings and ice cream, and then headed home.

A was done making the cake (no photo but delicious! Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting 🙂 ) so we had that, then visited until supper time.

A lot of eating on my birthday!

Sunday morning my SIL came over for cake and coffee, and gave me one of her adorable handmade bears! She retired last winter, and has been “living the dream,” sewing and crafting to her hearts delight. She has been making great quantities of stuffed bears. Mine is the cutest one.  🙂

After that, life became more mundane. I did some laundry, some weeding, some spinning. I cleaned the porch furniture and moved the plants out of the guest room and out there where they belong. Went to the grocery store for the week’s shopping, and got takeout for supper (more eating!)

I love how the porch looks with the plants on it. Please excuse the wipes , and just focus on the pretty porch and cute cat! Vacuuming is the next thing I need to do out there, and string the lights we got and never put up last summer.  Those things that would be shelves in any one else’s house (wouldn’t they look pretty with candles or plants on them?) are cat perches.  The cats can climb up into the rafters, and they can hop on those and watch the world (chipmunks) go by.  They do that quite often, when they aren’t out there sleeping on the chairs, that is.

And here’s my spinning so far. Nearly done with this bobbin, then need one more just like it. Color has blue tones here that the real thing doesn’t.  It is a gray and brownish gray color, really.

And here’s some knitting to show you, just because. A sock and a hat. Winter is coming, after all! I’d show you the sweater, but I have no recent shots of it.

The sock is actually done now, and its mate is well under way.

So, now I am officially the age that matches my birth year, and that is a little alarming.  No denying I am not young anymore.  Quickly leaving middle age and approaching elderly.  Who could believe it?  And that same number was my order number at the take out stand. I assume that means it will be a good year this year!

Not my birthday

but this happened.


Due to schedules and budgets and things, my new spinning wheel arrived a month early.  I just finished waxing it and putting it together last night. I have to adjust the drive train (I need a third hand to do that) and then it will be ready to test out!

I still have copper and gold on the old wheel, so I will finish that up before I start a real spin on this one, but I have some little batts I have been saving to learn the new wheel. Plus Ashford nicely sent a few balls of fluff to practice with. Then I expect to be flying high!

A’s Birthday Friday List

Today beloved A is celebrating her 52nd birthday.  She thought long and hard about what she wanted her birthday excursion to be.  If you remember, last year we combined our excursions into a real vacation to Charleston, SC.

This year, she set her sights some lower.  After much thought, she decided she wants to go to Bangor, to Harbor Freight, and wander the aisles, picking out some treasures. Then she wants to have supper with her sisters at Uno’s. All I can say is that it is her birthday to do with what she will.  And I thank goodness there is a Christmas Tree Shop right next door to Harbor Freight, so I won’t go out of my mind.  🙂   (Just saying that my birthday excursion will be more fun – I am headed off to Monhegan Island with Mom and company in June.)

So, this morning I will bake her an angel food cake, and then we will head up to the big city for the afternoon.

I’ll have my knitting with me.  And my creative brain, because Christmas Tree Shop always has just the perfect thing if only it were a bit different.


Saturday the kittens turned one year old. We had an impromptu party for them – A’s sisters and brother-in-law came over for waffles. Zumba was very social, but Allie hid under the bed covers. Afterwards, she apparently felt like that gave her some special rights.
it's my birthday

She was wrong, and immediately after this photo was taken, she was chased off the counter, and the drying mat went off to the laundry. Really, it did!

Today I spent some time in the craft room – besides the kittens, we have three important March birthdays, so I had some cards to make. Assuming that the recipients don’t read this, I’ll share them here with you.

This one is for my sister-in-law, who has a birthday on Tuesday. It looks harder than it is to make this one – the hardest part was finding colors of double-sided paper that I liked. BoBunny came through for me with this nice paper, striped on one side, and softly shaded colors on the reverse. Then I used my Cuttlebug and a set of Spellbinders dies to make the medallion.


Then comes my brother-in-law, who will be 50 on the tenth (the inside says “Welcome to the your 50’s!”) It was the easiest card I have ever made, as it is just a fun sheet of word paper and a sticker. But I think it says it all. 🙂


The last one is for mom, who has her birthday on the 12th. It’s hard to get a good photo of iridescent chalk, but trust me, it looks soft and shimmery. The background paper is from K and Company, and has a nice embossed texture to it. The oval is once again cut with a Spellbinder die (remember, A got me a bunch of them? I love them!) the stamp is from Hero Arts. I used a glue pad, so that the chalk would stick to the image, then I brushed the whole thing with a soft gray shimmer chalk, and highlighted the scallops with the same blue as the stamped image. It looks a whole lot different without the glue to hold the chalk. Sealed the whole thing with fixative, then used foam squares to stick it to the card base.

And now all there is to do is remember to mail them off in a timely fashion! And of course, start planning for Easter cards and the April birthdays.

Road trips!

A wants to go to Boston for her birthday. I want to go to Monhegan for mine.

We are doing both – yippeeeeeeeee!!!

Made the hotel and train reservations for Boston last night. Can’t wait for April!!

Working on figuring out who is going to Monhegan with us, and how long they are staying, and then I will make those arrangements too. Can’t wait for June!!

I LOVE road trips, and I love having them out there, all arranged so that they can be anticipated with out being worried about.

Weekend! Love’em. Want more of’em.

Even when they suck, they are great!  This one will be filled with family – knitting day with “the girls” (mom, sister, sister-in-law, a niece and maybe a cuz) tomorrow in Portland, summer family birthday gathering on Sunday – AT OUR HOUSE!  So cool that everyone is willing to make the drive. A wants lobster, and it is cheap as can be right now, so we are having that for those who want it.  For the rest of us, lots of cold salads. and cake.  yummy.  I am trying a new gluten-free mix, I hope it is good, since it is better for us than the traditional cakes.  I haven’t been wiling to do gluten-free from scratch yet, but I found mixes at King Arthur Flour ( and so will try one.  Of course, I will make homemade butter cream frosting for it – no gluten in sugar and butter!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

As for knitting – I’ll bring along the shawl to show off and brag about, and maybe the new lace scarf I am working on now.  I think I have figured out the pony tail hat pattern, though, in my head, so I might bring that along to try it and see if it works as I think it will.  If this works, and I can write it down so it makes sense, this could be the start of my knitting pattern empire! I have asked TWO teenaged girls if pony tails and hats cause them a problem in the winter, and received a resounding yes.  Both are willing to try the hat and provide feedback.  And they aren’t even nieces, so I am a bit excited at the prospect. Just have to knit the hats!

Naturally, Saturday will be filled with cooking and cleaning, and getting the pool nice and clean for everyone. I have vacuumed it a few times this week, gotten lots but not all of the sand out of the bottom.  Not sure how it gets there, but it does. Of course, the weather is supposed to be nasty until Sunday, and Sunday is debatable, but that is OK.  We will still have fun.  Niece E will go swimming with me, if it isn’t freezing out.  She won’t even care about that, but her mother will.  🙂

And we will see how the kittens do with a house full of people.  I predict Allie will hide all day, and Zumba will come out after a while because she won’t be able to stand not knowing what is going on.

Oh, I am so glad the weekend is finally here, and so glad I have Fridays off and so glad that I have a fun family.

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