This birthday started two Saturday's ago with One Perfect Day when Brenda took me out to dinner for an early celebration because she had plans to be away this weekend.
I wrote about my Road Trip to Barrie that same day, listening to a Mavis Staples CD I'd been given by a friend at work, and how I was adding going to a Mavis Staples concert to my Bucket List. I just thought that one day I would go online and see her closest concert venue and travel there. I imagined it would be somewhere in the US.
It was the week before last, after cell group, and Susan and I were having a second cup of decaff coffee after everyone else had left. She said she had my birthday present and she was a bit worried about it in case I had other plans, and did I want to open it now? I said, "Yes!" and she handed me a birthday card in a pink envelope. Inside; I could not believe my eyes; were two tickets to a Mavis Staples concert on June 22, at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. I chose to use the second ticket for Susan, and we are going together to see Mavis Staples! I never dreamed I would fulfill this wish so immediately; so you see, the whole thing got off to a wonderful start.
On Tuesday a card arrived in the mail from Rob. Now Rob does not usually send cards, so it meant a lot to get one from him. It was not just any card. It was so obviously chosen so carefully, and the words he wrote inside so loving. It even had a hand drawn paw print from Bruce.
On Friday, my work team surprised me with getting together at lunch to celebrate, and when they asked me how I was celebrating on Saturday, my actual birthday, I told them I'd be calling Rob, and about the lovely card. They said that when I called I should say, "But you're not here!" I laughed at the joke, but I didn't think I could bring myself to tease him--however it was too funny not to. When I did, he laughed and enjoyed the joke and said he knows he lives his life too small. He lives his life differently, but it is far from small and is fine the way it is. I made sure I told him that.
Because Brenda and Kevin were away and Jay couldn't have the girls this weekend as he usually does, we had the pleasure of their company.
After dinner on Friday evening, Tori asked me if there was any work she could do for me to earn some money for something she wanted to buy. As it happened, my house was unusually clean already so I had to think for a minute, but in my fridge I had some rhubarb that a friend had given to me, so I asked her if she'd like to help me make pies on Saturday. Her eyes showed her enthusiasm as she nodded hard, and we set a time to start the next morning. I could think of no better way to enjoy the day than baking with a granddaughter.
Meanwhile I had another brainwave. One of the people supported by our agency, who loves Molson; Brenda's Golden Retriever; had made him dog treats a while ago. Molson loved them. She also gave me the recipe, which I had saved, but I just never got around to baking any myself. I asked Tori if she'd like to make some and the same enthusiastic nodding was my answer. She made a double batch, getting practice at multiplying recipes at the same time. Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons oil (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup water or broth (we used home made chicken broth)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients together well
Roll out to 1/4 inch thick
Cut into shapes
Bake 30-40 minutes
Let cool. Store in a tightly closed container
I laughed out loud when Tori, who was reading the recipe, asked me, "Omie what is an 'inch'?" :) In Canada, a couple of generations have now grown up with centimeters and meters!
While she worked on the dog treats, in order to try to avoid hovering too much, as I am prone to do, I busied myself preparing for the rhubarb pie baking. When the first batch of dog treats came out of the oven, I tried one. Both Tippy and Tori thought it was hilarious and tried one too. They didn't taste half bad. We had a lot of fun laughing at the fact that I had fed dog treats to my grandchildren.
Their dad came to take them shopping at noon, and the girls gave him one of the star shaped "cookies," telling him that Tori had made them that morning. Once he had bitten into it they told him it was a dog treat. He said he hadn't wanted to say that it didn't taste too exciting, but when he heard it was a dog treat he almost spat it out--until he heard that the ingredients were all quite safe for humans!
Tori helped with the pies for a while before leaving for shopping and I finished them. It was my first attempt at making lattice top pies!
Today the celebrating continued with our monthly family dinner with all 12 of us together--a gift in itself.
Paul had given me some money for my birthday, and the best gift I could imagine was to do something together as a family. So after dinner, 10 of us went to see the movie, Epic. I had ordered the tickets online and inadvertently ordered them for the Richmond Hill theatre instead of Newmarket, so we had a mad race to get there in time, but we made it, and the movie achieved the goal of being fun for 6 grandchildren with ages that span from 7 to 15 years old--not to mention the adults, who enjoyed it too.
Add to that, touching base with all of my dear friends, through cards, phone calls, email and FB messages; and a lovely call from my dear Mum-in-law whose 87th birthday is today; and this was the best birthday ever.
I am thankful to the Lord for knowing him; for dear friends; precious family, and the gift of being 63. :)