Okay, I am sitting herein my office eating Oreo cookies (come on January diet...get the holidays over...geesh!!!), all set to get down to work, but I am still giddy and high from my birthday weekend (or is it the sugar high from the friggin cookies?). Either way, I just wanted to share it with you and then I promise I will send you the New Year's Eve photo shoot feature that I promised two postings ago.....I know, I know....
Well, my birthday was last Friday, December 11th. Two years ago, my birthday was spent upside down, screaming in my car that had been flipped twice and would have gone over the bridge had it not been for a light post. I was hit by a drunk driver and my birthday was basically spent in the the emergency room with me shaking and crying in my then fiance's arms who also happened to hear the entire ordeal over his cell phone. The following year, we decided not to celebrate my birthday on the 11th. I stayed in not wanting to go out. We decided my "new" birthday was going to be on the 10th. Well, this year, I took my birthday back. That drunk already took so much away from me, she wasn't going to take my birthday too.
My birthday was last Friday and it was suppose to be my "field trip" day with a good friend Paul. We are going to look at one of his homes for a possible photo shoot, then look at some buildings and spend the day together. We have done show homes together in the past and we like to work together. So, I get up and start to get ready but my phone is ringing nonstop from my family and friends wishing me happy birthday. Paul calls and we arrange to meet at the Walgreens up the street and take off from there in about thirty minutes. I jump in the shower and as soon as I get out, my phone rings again. My good friend Debbie calls me and asks me what I am up to and I say that I just got out of the shower and I ask her what she is up to and she said she has been knocking on my door and that she and Gretchen are on my front porch with cheesecake!
I throw on a robe and greet them with a hug (anyone with cheesecake gets hugs in my book) and I welcome them in and we all go to the kitchen and they make themselves at home and the yakking starts, the dishes come out, and they tell me they took off work for a bit to wish me happy birthday! I was so touched! So, there I am, no clothes on except a robe and flannel pants, wet hair, eating cheesecake with my buds and just yakking, and then my phone rings again! It is Paul wondering where I am....oh Paul! I totally forgot about him! Put two good gabbing girlfriends and cheesecake in front of me, and all else is lost. So I laugh and told him what's what and he offered to just come on over (he likes cheesecake too).
Debbie (left) and Gretchen (right). Now, I tell you, am I blessed with such beautiful friends? And aren't friends even more beautiful when they are presenting little cheesecakes to you??? :-) Beauty comes in all forms...
Okay, I would like you take note how devoted I am to you to put these photos up for you - not my best by any means. But I am all about trying to keep it "real" even if that means real bad. But the good thing about real friends that really do love each other is that we not only compliment each other when we are looking hot...well at our age...luke warm...we also breath a sigh of relief to know that no matter what the friggin %$#&* commericals say, there is no such thing as a "natural beauty" once you are past 45. Hence the word "plastic." The last time I checked, plastic doesn't grow on trees and isn't organic. But for now, I will sincerely concentrate on my inners and hope as my outers age, so will Randy's eyes! :-) God sort had it all planned out, now didn't He? He's kinda smart...
So Gretchen and Debbie have to get back to work and they leave and I rush back to get ready and blow dry my hair. But my phone rings first...it is Randy. He asks what I am doing and I am telling I am trying to get ready and so on and he says he is on the way home so he can spend the day with me. He let his other barber take over for the day. I explain how happy I am about that, but Paul is coming over for our field trip day but that is fine with me that I get to spend a whole day with my husband too! So now Randy is on his way home. So back to the bathroom again to get ready. As soon as I dry my hair, my phone rings again! This time, it is Paul telling me he is at the front door. He knocked while I was using the dryer. I go let him and he notices immediately my new Mac computer and both of us have a tendency to be just a tad A.D.D. (shocking, I know), so we plop down on the sofa and I start showing him all sorts of goodies. Randy finally comes home and I go let them eat the rest of the cheesecake (and listen to them tell each other how cool my friends are to bring it over) while I FINALLY get out of my robe and put on my face. (It's alright to shock you, but can't do that to the locals...)
But isn't it great to have so many friends who call or visit that you can't even get out of your robe until almost noon? I am very blessed.
Okay, so my day is spent with two wonderful men...filled with laughter. At one point in the car, Paul and I were talking about car wrecks (of course...my birthday). Paul and I can gab and gab and gab. Okay, don't take this wrong Paul, but you are like a girl when it comes to gabbing - maybe that is why we can work so well together. :-) Well anyway as we are gabbing in the car, and you have to picture Randy just sitting in silence, taking this all in. At one point, Paul and I were discussing a wreck I witness while living in NJ that had two green lights at the same time and it went like this after much discussion of the wreck, the green lights, and how it all happened, our conversation still continues like this:
Me: ...and so the car went flying through the intersection and smashed into the other car without even stopping!
Paul: Wow! Both had green lights?
Me: Yeah! I later found out that the city had worked on those lights earlier that morning.
Paul: And they malfunctioned again?
Me: Yeah, but that was the only time. Just once!
Paul: I wonder how they knew it malfunctioned only once?
Me: Must have some sort of mechanism...
Paul: You'd think it would time it out?
Me: But how would two green lights happen when it is all electronic?
Paul: And how do you think they knew it was only once and not twice and they just got lucky?
Me: What I don't get is how...
Finally Randy interrupts calmly and says:
Randy: What I don't get is how you two don't know how to end a story! To me, the story of the wreck ended a long time ago. You said you saw a car fly through the street. Another car came and hit it. They both had green lights. Then later a report came out that they both had green lights and the lights had been worked on earlier that morning. Done. End of story. But you two keep on talking about how did light do that? Why did it do that? What was wrong? How did the mechanism fail? Are they sure it was only once?...
Paul and I just sat there a little stunned and listened to Randy go on because we hadn't really heard him talk all day. We suddenly burst out laughing and Paul yelled (jokingly) to Randy: WE ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS, MAN! THAT'S WHAT CREATIVE PEOPLE DO! I think Randy is very happy when I spend a day with Paul because I am all wound down when I get home, and Paul's wife is all happy when he gets home as well....can't imagine why.... :-)
My husband and I were then invited to attend a beautiful church Christmas performance by our new and very loving friends, Danita and Russ that evening. (No not Cornelia yet, you will meet her in a minute.) We had a great time. Randy wanted to take me out Saturday night, so going to the church event on my birthday was perfect and I love spending time with them.
Saturday morning I felt like a call center again. I was getting birthday wishes on Friday but mostly on Saturday. Which was great, but Randy had reminded me several times to make sure I was at the barber shop at 10:30 because Bob (my friend from NYC) has friends who just moved to St. Louis who are coming in for haircuts and they really want to meet me. I then get texts all morning from Bob about how I am to call him after I meet Jimmy and Keith. (No, not Cornelia, yet.) Every time I go to get ready, I either get a phone call or text and I can't get ready. So, I am running late, and never eat anything so I leave to make it there on time. I arrive at the shop and they aren't there yet, and I am starving. I plop down in a chair and chat with Clifford, my favorite barber in the world over the age of 41. I tell Randy I am starving and I will be back, but he stops me and says to just wait and I tell him I will be only a minute. Well, Randy stops cutting hair and rushes to the fridge in the back and grabs something out of the fridge and rushes over to me and shoves out a stick of string cheese and a Hershey's chocolate bar in my face and says, "Here, have this!" I stare at the weird combo and wrinkle my nose and say, "But I don't want string cheese and chocolate..." I said it sort of like the way Jerry Seinfeld said, "But I don't want to be a pirate..." Those who are Seinfeld fans will know what I am talking about. But I take the cheese anyway, looking at him weird, and just as I open it, a big guy walks in introduces himself as Jim and I stand up to hug him and I turn to meet Keith...but it isn't Keith, it is Bob!!! My friend from NYC. He flew in to surprise me for my birthday!
Randy has a look of relief, as he is NOT good at keeping secrets, and he was just about to crack under the pressure at having an "uncooperative participant" as he later called me. What a great surprise!
Jim (left) and Bob. Is it hard to guess that Bob is from NYC and in Theatre? Just wondering... :-)
So Bob and I had the whole weekend together as my present. I give Randy a big hug and Jim has to get to work and so I whisk Bob off for some food (I really was starving as was Bob) and so my present begins. Bob and I go way back to our college and theatre days and we can just pick up wherever we left off the last time we saw each other. However, I have an appointment with my friend/client to take some photos of some pillows and drapes (yes, the beautiful home I have shown you before!) and I am excited for Bob to see some of my work. So off we drive out to her house. And then Bob and I go to some antique malls, where we meet.....
Miss Cornelia W. Heess! Yes, I meet her and instantly, I am curious about her and want to get to know her and have a secret "girl crush" on her. I find "her" in a little booth, just waiting to be chosen. She is a dainty little purse. I show Bob this fabulous little leather purse that feels so good to the touch, but wait, oh! Oh, how cool! When you open it, it is embossed with someone's name! Well, Miss Cornelia must have been special. Oh! I squeal...look! Look! She had calling cards too! And even a matching calling card holder! And what's this? OMG...is this what I think it is? It is! It is! It is a vintage version of a day planner (sort of). She has her shopping list with her! And I do believe she has an important event coming up by the looks of her list. And as I dig around more....wait, I didn't see that at first, the card holder has pockets! And what is this? A gentleman's card? Well, now, who is the Mr.Waldemar F. Wehrli? He is the only other card in the holder. He must be special. As I ooh, and ahh, there is something about it that I just love. But I finally put the purse back. I just usually don't buy that stuff for myself and it is out of habit not to spend money on myself, especially since I don't have the store. Well, Bob picks it up and hands it to me and says, "Happy Birthday. We can't leave Miss Cornelia behind, now can we? Everyone should have a Cornelia." I give him a hug and thank him and I "pet" my purse as we continue to shop. He finds some really nice art for his new NYC apartment and we head home to change. You can "meet" Miss Cornelia for yourself in the photos below:
I just love this little Art Deco snap.
This is like a vintage day planner - right up my alley!
To me, this was the show-stopper. This card is made of some very sturdy, slick card-type paper. One can write on it in pencil, and erase the list and use it over and over again. I love that it has a list on it.
The list says: Hat, gloves, Ra...fer, Hose, Stocking. I wish I could figure out the "R" word. I think I have those letters correct. Any guesses?
Look how the leather piece matches the purse. This is attached to the note card.
Card Holder with pockets.
Did they live happily ever after?
That evening, Randy takes us all out to a very nice dinner on The Hill (Italian section of St. Louis) and I decide to take Miss Cornelia with me. She is the perfect accessory. Not too flashy, but just cute enough to stand out. Some would say she is a little "worn" but I prefer to say she has lived a really good life so it shows a little. And when you are that cute, you get to go to all the best places and see all the good stuff. So, of course you'd expect a little living to show.
We get home and I find a package waiting for me! The surprises never stop. I open the little parcel that is neatly wrapped in brown paper and out comes what I recognize immediately, is a custom-made apron from my ever-so talented friend and seamstress, Maureen! I love, love, love it! I immediately go and hang it up in my kitchen. I have THE perfect spot for it. I always wanted a personalized apron and I always told myself I would get one, but just never have. She got the fabric just perfect. Of course, it is the details that make it perfect. The pocket, the edging, the monogram, the size, and color. But what really makes it perfect? Is that every single morning when I go in to make breakfast and a big pot of coffee for my handsome husband, I will see it and think of her. And when I start my holiday baking (no, I haven't started!) I will be wearing it. It is just perfect. See for yourself below:
Is this a great place to hang it or what?
I love the color and fabric, of course!
The next day we three all go to Art Museum for brunch. (Can you just hear Weight Watchers calling??) I take my new friend with me and she stays on the table next to me (no floor sitting for her). If ever in town, you must have brunch at the museum. But, I did learn that the expansion of the museum will close the brunch off for some time until the expansion is completed! :-(
Miss Cornelia spent the entire day with us. You see her on the table?
We then head out and do a little vintage shopping and by the looks of it, you can see we had a little fun. If you don't keep an eye on Randy, you would think he is the one who is the theatre major.
I turn my back for one minute and I hear: "Hey honey...." And this is what I see.
And what was even more funny was when I put on the wig, it was actually hard to put on and I couldn't see, and when I got it on, with no mirror, I asked Randy, "Is it on right?" And he turned and said, "Oh, yeah...!" But he caught himself off guard and said it very...very...well...in a way he didn't expect to come out and I think he actually blushed with the tone of his voice because he didn't catch himself in time to stop which made it funnier!
But our main purpose was to get our Christmas tree and we took Bob to Ted Drews, a St. Louis tradition where they sell custard and sell trees at Christmas. Bob and Randy were busy making fun of me as I looked around. I am not sure what they were saying, but all I know was that every time I made a comment about a tree or whatever, it would crack them up. Not sure what that was about, but I seemed to keep them entertained...sort of like have a couple of giddy six year-olds all excited for Christmas with me.
Randy and Bob saw this huge stack of unopened trees and were making fun of me (below) of how I would go ecstatic over it and how I would insist that the "perfect" tree would be amongst them and how I would have the employee pull them all out for me to review one by one....yes, they are so funny...see, I told you they made fun of me the whole time, but I laughed along with them because they are goofy.
And as you can see, I found the perfect tree as "Vanna" is pointing out for all to see...and no, do not believe them when they tell you it took three days....
Well, that was my birthday weekend. Actually, I am closing this post at this time because the centers of my Oreo's are now gone, and if I want to eat the outsides, that means I have to get up and get milk. And if I have to get up, that means I will have to go "sissy" (as Bob likes to say) and I am afraid if I go "sissy" then I will notice we need clean towels, so I better go get fresh towels...so on the way to get fresh towels, I will be chilly, so I will stop and change the thermostat which will remind me that I need to get that sweater out that needs to be dry cleaned, so I will then head to my bedroom to get the sweater out so I don't forget, but when I get to the bedroom, I will see that I still need to make the bed, but then remember I didn't make it on purpose as a reminder that I need to change the sheets so I will then start the laundry and forget the sweater, forget the towels, forget the milk and forget to come back to the computer to finish this post. So, this is a good stopping point. Someone out there please tell me that I am not the only one like this...please...lie to me if you have to....lie dammit lie! :-)
Okay, in my defense, a lot of these cookie centers were eaten last night. (That doesn't sound so great now that I type it out.) But, I have a good reason for eating the centers at my desk. I don't need milk when I eat the centers and I don't want liquids around my computer, or crumbs....so as you can see, I am Computer-Cautious-Cookie-Connaisseur! :-)
Sorry this is not an exciting post or "eye candy" (only cookies) but when it comes to birthdays, I have a new perspective on my birthdays and on life and I am so very happy to have another one. And I am so blessed to have so many loving and thoughtful people in my life who wish to share the joy of living life with me. Life can be so filled with pain, resentment, unfairness, injustices, and anger. I know. But I also know the joy of life, happiness, laughter, sharing, love, and friends too.
Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. I never take you for granted and I really hope you know that - well the best you can through a computer screen, that is.
May you be lucky enough to have a good friend with you the next time you meet your "Miss Cornelia" to remind you not to leave her behind either. Sometimes, we forget to treat ourselves now and again. And we shouldn't forget to do that.