There must be 50 ways...
...to turn 50! Fifty? 50! Five... Oh!! A celebratory, random, numbered list.
1. I took Mom to lunch for my birthday yesterday. We went to The Freckled Frogg in King, WI. This is the most beautifully presented salad I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Best of all, it tasted even better than it looks! I know you want to see it again (zoom out!):
2. It was called "Pear & Walnut Salad," but it consisted of turkey, grapes, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, peas, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, pears, candied walnuts, zucchini, bleu cheese, celery, ranch dressing, blackberry drizzle, some other drizzly stuff with wine.
3. Some of these things were immediately apparent; others, while in plain view, did not register right away and were deliciously discovered as the salad was slowly devoured.
4. Every last speck.
6. What a great place! I will definitely go back.
7. The owner/chef didn't have dessert yesterday because she ran out of time -- so, yeah, I really NEED to go back.
8. Mack sang "Happy Birthday" to DH on the phone this morning -- because it was DH who answered; I got to the phone in time for a little bit of an encore followed by a precious "I Love You!" What a fab way to start the day! I'll just have to remember to answer the phone on DH's birthday to get my full due!
9. I had a card and a box of the best chocolates around from DH this morning.
10. He told me that I'm to keep a slot open on Saturday afternoon, too. Don't know what that's about.
11. Text message from Ali this morning.
12. Katie wrote on my Facebook wall.
13. Haven't heard from Maddy yet.
14. Cards, phone calls, voicemails, emails, more writing on the wall... it's GREAT!
15. I've had quite a year as I mark the 50th.
16. The beginnings of which I can trace back even more than a year... I don't know exactly when it started.
17. Maybe as far back as when I quit smoking...
18. Or Michael's accident...
19. Both of those things triggered some self-examination.
20. One of them presented a startling realization of your place in the world...
21. Arguably, it started at 11:26 a.m. on November 6th, 1958.
22. My girls -- as they become independent, beautiful, young women -- definitely have something to do with it...
23. I cannot be a "do as I say, not as I do" mother. I think I was for a while. I think I succeeded in pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for a while.
24. In order to be a "do as I do" mother, I had to look in the mirror.
25. And I had to do something. I had to stop letting things happen.
26. I made some decisions about who I am and where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there.
27. I decided to be a Big Girl.
28. The weirdest thing, that song. The lyrics have been like my mantra this past year. A Fergie song! Who knew? The kids think I'm a little nuts. There are some parts that don't apply... exactly... but the spirit -- the straightening out, the personal, the peace, serenity, clarity, the getting a move on...
29. I needed to be a big girl and TAKE CONTROL of my life.
30. The train left the station.
31. Admittedly, it isn't always moving fast and it's jumped track a couple of times, but I've never jumped the train and it's always moving forward.
32. I enrolled in a "Tech Comm" program and stuck it out in school for a year. Loved the Comm part, not so much the Tech; loved the school part, not so much the studying.
33. Learned so much about myself at school.
34. It's funny how one thing leads to another competely unrelated thing... I doubt I ever would have danced Argentine Tango if it hadn't been for a class assignment.
35. Oh, how I loved that. I have to admit that I haven't been back -- I have such a great memory tucked away. But I must. I have the calendar and the group has begun meeting at an actual dance studio...
36. I think the judges on Dancing With The Stars were afraid of Erica Kane. I'm not sure what they were seeing when Susan Lucci danced, but last night's results were exactly right (in my opinion). I believe she could have been a contender -- a real fireball -- if she would have put down the script and just let go.
37. How much fun was Dancing On The Ceiling? That's one of a handful of songs that ALWAYS gets me moving.
38. Speaking of moving, I've ordered an elliptical machine. It's part early Christmas thanks to Maddy, part walking the dog just isn't doing it for me. It was cheap but had great reviews, plus I had a gift certificate; it should be here by Monday.
39. Let's talk about knitting for a few. This is not my best knitting year.
40. I'm looking forward to finishing up all my loose-end and committed projects -- and making more of a plan for what's next. I think the problem this year is that I've been a little willy-nilly in the knitting department.
41. One big reason for that is this:
42. It's where all that birthday, big girl, getting a move on stuff has taken me -- in round-about fashion. And it's what's taken a lot of the time, concentration, and energy that I used to devote to knitting.
43. My housekeeping still suffers the same (if not worse).
44. Oooooh, it's so exciting and scary and hella work and challenging and fun!
45. I have so much more to learn, but I'm taking it slow and steady -- keeping on track, as it were.
46. The little engine that could, even.
47. Now, as I help and advise Ali as she plans her future as the owner of a coffee shop rather than as the employee of one...
48. Now, as I help and advise Katie as she puts school behind her (for the most part) and makes her own plans and decisions about what's next...
49. Now, as I help and advise Maddy (as much as she allows because, you know, she rarely asks me... this is a relationship in transition -- as they all are, it's just some more than others -- and we've yet to find a firm foothold on common ground) as she begins to stretch her wings for reals...
50. Now, I think I can! Here's to another 50, give or take a few!!