A Bittersweet Birthday

by Cate on August 1, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me! Unfortunately, my grandmother died this morning, so the celebration was bittersweet. God has a wicked sense of humor, that’s for sure. Her health has been declining lately, and my sister and Mom got the opportunity to visit her last week in Colorado. I’m glad for that. Sigh… anyways…

So cracking one eye open at the early hour of 8 am this morning (Nicholas not being able to wait any longer to sing “Happy Birthday”), I spied this on the dresser.

Now there’s a nice way to start the day! The Husband baked the French Toast with Pecans that I made last night, and Nicholas and I had breakfast in bed. I’ll post the French Toast recipe tomorrow; it’s going to be a definite repeater, and is perfect for a brunch or holiday breakfast, and heck, any other time you want to indulge. Paula Deen has a similar recipe, but I like this one better.

Went to the Farmer’s Market this morning to pick up some more fresh veggies. I got 2 lavender plants, fresh baked bread, pitted Kalamata olives, green peppers, tomatoes, and a few herb plants. All the herbs plants that I’ve bought there are really thriving — maybe my thumb isn’t quite as anti-green as I thought!

Farmer’s Market Offerings

Tomato Varieties

Pick a Pack of Peppers

For my birthday dinner, we ended up getting Chinese food and eating here, instead of going out. I actually made the decision before I found out about my grandmother, but given the circumstances, it was much nicer this way. There’s a local Chinese restaurant that has superb food, but they’re a little pricier and don’t deliver, so we don’t often get food from there. Today we did … a little bit of everything, eaten family-style: Twice Baked Pork, General Tso’s Chicken, General Tso’s Shrimp, General Tso’s Beef, Scallion Pancakes, Grand Marnier Shrimp, Steamed Dumplings, Fried Dumplings, Dried Sauteed Green Beans, Shrimp Toast, Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Fried Rice, White Rice, Brown Rice … I’m probably forgetting a few things, but suffice it to say, we ate well, and I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night! I’ve never had the Grand Marnier Shrimp before and really liked it. Wouldn’t think to mix fruit with shrimp like they did (strawberries?), but it worked.

My sister made Coconut Cupcakes for Nicholas’ birthday (a Barefoot Contessa recipe) and my Mom brought a Chocolate Cream Pie and Cannoli Cake for my birthday. Needless to say, Nicholas is still confused about whose birthday is when, considering we had a cake for him yesterday at the kids’ party, cupcakes for him today with my family … and it’s still not even his birthday yet!! Two more days to go.

My sister and brother-in-law got me 3 great food-related books, and surprisingly enough, I don’t have any of them! They bought me Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, Endangered Recipes and Jane & Michael Stern’s RoadFood. Two of these were actually on my list of things to buy, and I’m really looking forward to delving into them. The Cooky Book has been around since 1963 – anything that has stood that kind of test of time has got to be good! They also got me a bunch of cookie decorating tools, cutters, tips, sprinkles and more. Perfect! My parents got me a vacuum sealer (a must for my kitchen!), gorgeous earrings, tons of shoes, a tote bag, a cutting board, and placemats. And then with Nicholas’ birthday stash from everyone… the living room looked like Christmas morning! We’re definitely going to have fun playing with all our new “toys.”

OK, all for tonight … I’ll be back tomorrow. Head hurts a bit and I’m trying to get to bed early tonight since I feel a sore throat coming on. Until tomorrow…

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

linda August 1, 2005 at 3:05 am

Happy Birthday. I am so sorry it was bittersweet.. I posted wishes for you on the BB as well..


Stephanie August 1, 2005 at 3:12 am

Sympathies to you on the loss of your grandmother…


Jeff August 1, 2005 at 3:42 am

Very pretty birthday flowers.

So sorry to hear about your Grandmother.


Joe August 1, 2005 at 3:50 am

Very sorry to hear about your loss.


Tami August 1, 2005 at 4:23 am

I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother, especially today of all days. I’ll be thinking of you.


Jennifer August 1, 2005 at 6:23 am

So sorry for your loss.

It sounds like you were able to have a wonderful birthday in spite of your grandmother’s passing. May you be blessed with many sweet memories of her.


Erika August 1, 2005 at 1:23 pm

Happy Birthday! Overnight french toast in bed with my son sounds like a divine way to start the day. So sorry about your Grandmother. (hugs).


Piggy August 1, 2005 at 1:44 pm

Happy belated birthday! Sorry to hear about your loss…


gemma August 1, 2005 at 2:50 pm

Happy Birthday! I too am very sorry about your grandmother. How fortunate you were to see her so recently though. . I wish you the best, you are in my thoughts.


jtoepfert100 August 1, 2005 at 6:19 pm

So sorry to hear about your grandmother. Thinking of you.


thecoolestblog August 1, 2005 at 7:12 pm

Cool blog and cool message


Mel August 1, 2005 at 11:09 pm

Happy Birthday. The french toast sounds yummy.

So sorry to hear about your grandmother. Thinking of you.


Anonymous August 1, 2005 at 11:46 pm

Sorry about your grandmother, MISSINDI. Your birthday sounds like it was wonderful, in spite of. The flowers are beautiful! You’re a lucky lady!


WhiteTrashBBQ August 4, 2005 at 6:13 pm

Sorry I’m so late with this.

Happy Birthday.

And please accpet my sympathy for the loss of your grandmother. With all the losses in my life, the loss of my grandmother was the hardest to take.


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