Friday, October 08, 2010

A Pretty Good Clean Up!

Well, in case you weren't already aware of this -if you're on my Facebook, I'm pretty sure you were though -today was my birthday. Yep. I'm now a whole 'nother year older and it came about all in the space between midnight last night and well, midnight tonight. (Which by the way, is just around the corner too now as I write this post.

It's really been a pretty incredible week this week, not just the past 24 plus hours.

Mandy's friend's husband came up with the idea that the week of one's birthday should be more important and that we should celebrate the "Birthday Week" as opposed to just the day. So last Sunday, Mandy -being the little smarty-pants that she can be some times -posted on Facebook that this was my Birthday Week and as a result, I've been receiving birthday greetings off and on all week but today -well, today was a massive influx of birthday message that came my way!

Just incredible, awesome and truthfully -just a bit overwhelming too! So to all those who wished me a happy birthday during the week or today, thank you all so much for doing that as the wishes and added messages on many were very much appreciated.

So, what did I do exciting for my birthday anyway?

Well, yesterday I cooked up this casserole concoction I had improvised about two years ago -using bite-size pieces of boneless chicken breast, browned with some chopped onion, a bit of chopped garlic, two jalapeno peppers finely chopped up too and some chopped celery. A whole lot of chopping going on, ya know. And to that mixture I then added about 2 cups of chicken broth and oh -I almost forgot -I also chopped up some carrots to this mixture too. A dash of seasonings of various types and let that simmer a while. Then, I cooked a package of penne pasta and made some homemade white cheese sauce using shredded white cheddar and shredded mozzarella, and mixed the creamy sauce with the chicken and then poured it all over the penne pasta and presto magic, a really tasty and easy too, casserole that easily fed the whole family with some leftover of it that Carrie took a container home with her and Clate took the rest home with him so he would be able to have a good hot meal for his supper tonight when he finally arrived back home from work!

While we were eating last night, grandson Alex was busily scarfing down this masterpiece on his plate and finally, lifted his head and told me "Hey, this stuff is really good, Gram."

And as soon as he said that, Kurtis picked up the chant then as he looked up and me and said "Is real good Gram" too! Now he may have just been parroting his cousin Alex -cause Kurtis does do that -a lot -but considering the way he too was attacking this food on his plate, I was inclined to think he actually meant those words. So I took that as the ultimate compliment, coming from a little boy who does love pasta of most any kind but can still be more than a bit picky some nights about eating that or anything some days, for that matter.

After we finished supper and gave the casserole a little time to begin digesting, we then enjoyed a great Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake and man, was it ever good too!

As I was cutting the "cake" the family decided that was the time to sing Happy Birthday to me -one of Kurt's all-time favorite songs - and he was so excited over getting to sing this and also, was so very much anticipating getting a hunk of this yummy ice cream cake too, he was jumping all around the kitchen island, singing his little heart out and arms flapping away like crazy too.

And wouldn't you just know it but we forgot to get the camera out and try to get a video of the singing an dancing going on too! What a bummer, cause both the little kids were very excited as well as being really cute and comical too.

Then, today -Miss Mandy took her Momma to lunch, at the restaurant of my choice and I choose to go to the 1921 Restaurant at the Hotel Philips in Philipsburg, PA.

This was the second time I've been lucky enough to dine at this lovely establishment and for Mandy, it was her first visit there but we were both very impressed with the foods we ordered and came away from pretty darned well-fed then too! Yeah, Mandy's purse was a good bit lighter after our lunch too but she figured it was well worth it since we had a great meal, a lot of good old-fashioned enjoyment of each other's company without the presence of two small beings that we normally would have to keep carping at to sit up, shut up and eat, ya know!

Before we left for the restaurant though, we had a visit from one of my very good friends -for well over 50 years now -from our church as Margie brought a container of freshly made homemade chicken noodle soup -made too with homemade noodles! And wow, that made for a great light supper tonight -which was good -because after eating that great lunch, I sure didn't feel the least bit inspired to cook anything really and this soup definitely hit the spot.

Mandy and I were chuckling though at lunch because both of us were dressed considerably different than the way we normally look if we go out to eat at one of the little local places here. She was laughing that the folks where she works wouldn't recognize her because although she was all dressed up real fancy, she had opted for a pair of nice sandals instead of her traditional flip-flops and her sweater was one of her better sweaters as were her slacks but the defining thing for her was that she had even actually combed her hair! I had decided too that I would dress a little nicer for the occasion with some good dress slacks, a sweater (short-sleeved) and a floral blazer that had flowers in it of the same color as the sweater I had chosen to wear plus, I had heels on too -which is something rarely seen on my feet these days.

Both Mandy and I lean to much more casual clothing most of the time. We both tend to like t-shirts and shorts or jeans and we both also like to wear nfl t shirts too in recognition of our favorite football teams. She prefers the Steelers and I do like that team but my own team is those good old Washington Redskins!

Thinking about our normal wardrobe choices, Mandy laughed and said "Hey Mom! Ya know, we do clean up pretty darned nicely!"

Also before we left the house, I got a phone call too from my cousin Ruth Ann -who lives way down south in Austin, Texs -and she was calling to wish me a very happy birthday.

And that's not all either!

When we came home from lunch, Mandy discovered a container of flowers on our front stoop but there was nothing with them to indicate who had brought them and placed them there. These were a bunch of pink and/or pink and white verigated flowers, sort of resembling Sweet William, plus a big branch that was in a glass jar filled with water -obviously some sort of plant that someone was trying to get it to root and had brought here to give these plants to me.

I had no idea where the flowers had come from until we got inside the house and then I saw a book laying on the table with a card on top of it and I recognized the handwriting on the envelope. I laughed and told Mandy that I was now pretty sure who had brought the flowers and left them and also the book. I figured it was my good friend and neighbor -practically forever -Kate! So I phoned her and asked if she might just happen to be the local flower and book fairy and she laughed as she 'fessed up to having brought the plants and the book and card up while Mandy and I were out.

This evening then, Kate's sister, Shirley, stopped by bearing gifts too! She brought me something she knew I would love and appreciate too -a set of pillowcases, all stamped and ready and waiting now for me to get around to doing the embroidery of them!

Oh and in between all that, when Maya's TSS - Miss Amanda -showed up today, she had a nice little gift bag and card for me too! From Miss Amanda I got a nice big coffee mug that says "Grandmother" on one side and on the other side, a message that becomes visible when you pour a hot liquid of your choice into the mug! It says "What happens and Grandma's, stays at Grandma's!" (Wonder how she knew that I love coffee mugs though? Hmmm. I'm thinking it's because she's one very observant young lady!)

Last evening, my cousin Nancy phoned me too -around 10 p.m. -which was pre-arranged for her to call about that time as I knew by then the kids would be in bed, fast asleep and the house would be quiet enough that I'd easily then be able to hear what Nancy had to say with now problems. And we had a great conversation then too -remembering all kinds of things about our grandparents, aunts, uncles, other cousins and events that we share common interest in covering the past 60 plus years too. We also compared notes a bit too about the chemo stuff since she -like me -is also receiving chemo treatments now too. It was such a good conversation that it went on for a little over two hours as it was just past midnight when we hung up the phone.

And tonight, about 8 p.m., I received yet another phone call and this one was a big, big blast from my past! It was the guy who for several years while I worked at AccuWeather had been my supervisor there! He and his wife had left the area I think about 10-12 years ago now and moved to the Minneapolis area. But hearing Scottie's voice was so great after so many years! The only drawback when he called was that the kids were still awake plus Kate and Shirley were here then too so I had to tell him, if he'll be home tomorrow or Sunday evening, I'll return the call to him then because I really want the opportunity to be able to sit and chat with him!

And that's pretty much how my birthday week evolved down to my actual birthday and it was one that was one of the best, most memorable that I've had in a long, long time!

And now that I think of it, I think Nick-Nick maybe is on to something too that when we have our birthday it should be celebrated for the entire week!

Works for me, that's for sure!


terri said...

That sounds like a fantastic birthday week! From the casserole (which I'm impressed Kurtis ate, since you mentioned it had jalapenos) to all the visits and phone calls. I'm glad you had such a wonderful week. You deserve some recognition and pampering! Happy Birthday!

Smalltown RN said...

Wow....sounds like you have been having a wonderful birthday....but then you deserve it.

I love the sounds of that casserole. I love meals like that...I have one that I have made since my girls were little and it was one of those that well you looked in the fridge and wondered what you could make with that...and lo and has become their all time favourite casserole and they call me to this day to get the recipe.

Like you I love DQ ice cream cakes..that's about the only time I eat ice cream.

I am so glad you have been enjoying yourself....and that you got all fancied up for that wonderful lunch with your daughter...that's what memories are made of....

Hippo Birdies my friend!

Travis Cody said...

Happy Birthday! And many returns of the day to you!

Berni said...

Happy Birthday, missed it on Facebook.

TechnoBabe said...

I am so glad for you to have some fun times for your birthday and that so many people are showing you how they care about you. You are loved.

Maggie May said...

Belated Happy Birthday!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Marguerite said...

A belated Happy Birthday Jeni! Sounds like a wonderful couple of days and I totally agree with Nick-Nick about celebrating one's b-day for a week! :) Cheers, cher!

Gene Bach said...

I wish we had a Dairy Queen here. Closest one is 50 miles away.