A Little Birthday Gift

As we’ve gotten older, my husband and I have found that we don’t need as much as we used to. Food, clothes, pay the bills, and a few toys here and there. What IS different of course, is the size of the toys: no longer are we content with jigsaw puzzles and a “Please Don’t Break the Ice” game. Now the toys we want are more likely to have multiple zeros on the end, which of course makes it challenging to figure out what to get each other for birthdays and Christmas without breaking the bank, or more appropriately, what I need to get my husband for his birthday or for Christmas. By contrast, I’m easy to buy for. I’ll make a list for him…a long list with many options as a matter of fact, which he will then proceed to ignore, try to figure out what to get me on his own and tell me I’m impossible to buy for. He on the other hand, will not put together a list, and there is a reason for that

You see, Mike can’t seem to resist getting little treats for himself right before his birthday or Christmas. No matter how often I have asked, begged, pleaded, cajoled, demanded, and insisted, I just can’t seem to get him to understand that he’s losing husband points when he does this. I keep telling him ‘do NOT buy things for yourself in the month before your birthday and in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s likely you’ll get that thing for said upcoming event”, but it doesn’t matter.

So, when I do come up with an idea for something he doesn’t have, it really feels like a ‘eureka!’ moment for me. I get really excited, I’m happy, feel giddy, and wonder if I can pull it off. Then I get the gift for him and hide it where I pray he won’t find it before I can have a chance to wrap it up. Pulling this off successfully, however, requires cooperation from my husband, which in 19 years together I am sad to say I have only been able to pull off once. Doing the math, that’s 1 out of 38 chances, an only 2.6% success rate. To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, that’s horrible.

It happened again today. We have a tiki hut outside – a screened porch that we’ve decorated with a fun tiki theme. Of course, if you have a tiki hut you have GOT to have tiki cocktail glasses, right?

Well, about 2 weeks ago, I decided I would buy a set of replacement tiki bar glasses for him, since we’d broken one of our original ones a few months back. We’d talked about getting the backup set but never did it, and I thought “what a perfect birthday gift!” Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 10.23.02 PMSo I found it on Amazon, ordered it, prayed it would arrive when he was at work (it did), hid it in a closet and waited. Since he’ll be camping when his birthday is this year, I figured I’d give him the glasses this weekend. This morning, while I had a small break from working, he came into my office and said “oh by the way, just thought I’d let you know I just ordered another set of the tiki bar glasses as a backup set for ours.” I just sat there and finally said “you have got to be kidding me” then got up, went to the closet, pulled out the box, handed it to him and said, “well, hell, Happy Birthday honey!” He peeked in the box and just started to laugh.

I guess the good news is we’re set if we break a few more or have lots of folks over for cocktails in the tiki hut.

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Happy Anniversary to Me!

I was fiddling around this morning, checking stats in my blog, when I found out that yesterday marked 4 years to the day from when I published my first blog post. It was quite short, the bulk of it is below, and I thought I’d share it with you so that I can admit to what I have – and have not – accomplished in that time.

As I now must admit I’ve passed one milestone in my life and have a nodding acquaintance with middle age, and am approaching another as I near completion of my studies in graduate school – finally! – it’s time to start doing some of the things that I’ve either said I would, or have envied others for doing. Improve my photography skills enough to win local awards, and perhaps be published; not miss sending anyone a birthday card all year long (no, really!); start my novel; write a blog (thank you Diane Henders, for a little push, and a lot of inspiration.)

I was pretty ambitious when I started this, and was sure that blog writing would inspire me to get off the dime and get my novel written, but as it does, life got in the way. Since that first post I’ve had hip surgery, changed jobs, lost my job and started a new one, lost a family member, taken up old hobbies and started some new ones. What I haven’t done is written my novel or won any photography awards. But maybe that’s ok, because I’m having fun, and finding inspiration in the world around me.

I’ve started quilting again, and even took on a part-time job in a quilt fabric shop last fall. Right now, I’m scrambling to finish up a quilt for “Quilts of Honor”, which is an organization that collects quilts with patriotic themes, which are then donated to veterans who’ve been wounded while on active duty. Specifically, the group I’m working with has requested ours go to women vets this year, and they will be given on Veteran’s Day this fall. Here is the top of my quilt, and I’m hoping that by the end of this week I’ll have it all stitched with the batting and back so I can get to the binding.

I’ve also been knitting a lot and have found I really enjoy making socks! If you’d have asked me when I first started knitting again (I first learned in high school) I would have told you I probably would like larger needles and thicker yarn better, but I’m finding for some reason that I do enjoy making socks on small, circular needles. Maybe it’s because it’s a small number of stitches, and seems to go fast.

I also took up rock painting over the past few years, which I really enjoy. We found no shortage of rocks in the dirt in our yard as we mucked about with planting new shrubs and plants, and when we found some that were suitable for painting (i.e. smooth surface, interesting shape and a large enough surface), we’d set them aside (and by we I really mean my husband who did most of the digging!) and then washed ’em up. Now I have a lovely free collection, along with no shortage of ideas thanks to Pinterest.

I’m still not so hot on sending out birthday cards, so if you’re waiting for one from me, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you could be in for a letdown. I do try, really, but apparently my brain is just not wired for it. Consider yourself really lucky if I remember to send you an email. At least I’m not sending you a rock!