So, who had a fantastic birthday? Yes. Me. Two days..really. I'll come back to that.
I bounced out of bed Saturday morning at about 8. I went downstairs and ate some cereal and bounded upstairs to open my boxes. My best childhood friend had sent me a shoe box containing what has to be the largest homemade chocolate chip cookie that I've ever seen. It probably had a 10 inch diameter. It was crisp on the edges, but soft and crumbly everywhere else. Sam was very jealous. My parents also sent me a fun (and slightly odd...glow in the dark hummingbird plant thing, for example...) package. I was totally excited to see Sixlets again!
Afterward I went down to make cocoa crispy bars for the picnic, and the whole house sang me happy birthday. Awww. I met up with Bean at about 9:45 and we went into Hudson, stopping to pick up Schmee and to go to the ever-popular Walmart. Although we stayed classy and bought our meat/meat substitutes at Price Chopper. Anyhow, we made it back home by 12:30 and I whipped a pasta salad together, and all the picnic things. We left around 1:55, with me leading a car with Sam and another co-worker in it. I'd only been to the park once, but Bean brought her GPS, Pegasus. Peg was having a rough day, and only got satellite for the 15 seconds before the final turn and then immediately lost signal again. However, we were not lost at any point, so a win for me.
Apparently we used the back entrance, but I didn't know that at the time. I thought it was the main entrance and even though the cooler playground was at the back, we stuck to the "front" area so we could flag people down. This did not work, as at least one car never found us. However, the other one did, and we ended up with 5 people. This was good, because it was an awesome group, but meant that I have a lot of food left over!
We stayed from about 2-7, enjoying cooking out, a few drinks (legal in NY state parks!) and the playgrounds...we migrated once it became apparent no one else would be coming so late. After we packed everything up, we went back to the village and then met up a little later for a bonfire. We sugared ourselves up on the rice crispy bars and marshmallows. Yum.
A very nice birthday...no doubts about it!
Sunday was completely relaxed. The house (housemom, 3/4 villagers as one was with family) and I went out for brunch - housedad watched the kids. We went to the nearby country club, and although over-priced, the food was pretty good. Housemom asked me to name 3 things that I've learned in my very sagacious 23 years. After a little thought, my list was:
1. You need good friends that you can both laugh and cry with.
2. It's important to keep in contact with your family.
3. You can't control life, but you can control your expectations for it.
For dinner we had housemom's special mac'n'cheese and for dessert a yummy lemon raspberry cheesecake. This was not a lactose-intolerant-friendly meal...Thankfully not an issue for me! I also got the Deborah Madison cookbook: "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" - which is one of the ones I use the most frequently here. Housemom will be taking her copy when they move, so I really appreciate it! After dinner I went to the hall for our neighborhood's Kaspar Hauser presentation. Housemom did some improv singing, and wrote the lyrics herself. Very haunting sounding, although she neither howled like a wolf nor used a food processor for a tonal noise like she threatened to... Kaspar Houseer definitely has interesting story, you may want to Google him. However, I always thought that "destiny" or "fate" were predetermined, so it's impossible to change them. Otherwise it's kind of a pointless concept, right?
Anyhow, I spent today cleaning and had leftovers (from the picnic as well...) for lunch. I've also been working my way through the Jelly Bellies and have to say I'm a slow learner. The peanutbutter ones (yuck) have such a distinct color I can always fish them out. The black licorice are a bit tricky, but still pretty distinct. However, the buttered popcorn (easily my least favorite ever) are quite ingenious. They're not always the exact same looking, sometimes they're bright yellow with spatterings of white, and other times they're quite pale. Since there's numerous yellow ones (pineapple, lemon, lemon drop, pina colada, etc), I try to inspect it pretty closely and try to nail them down. I just ate two buttered popcorns in a row. Obviously I'm doing well here.
Anyhow, I've just started "Julie and Julia" and I'm enjoying it even more than the movie. Her prose is something that I feel mine is a pale variation of. But I'd probably get a talking too if I said "fuck" as much as she did...
Hope all is well,