Birthdays are fun, no? Or they should be. They should be a day to celebrate yourself and do the things that you really want to do. Or at least that’s how I feel about them. The Mister doesn’t like birthdays so I leave him alone about it. I’ve learned through the years that he really means what he says and when he says he doesn’t like birthdays, he really means it! I tried to throw him a surprise 40th birthday party and that nearly ended in disaster. So lesson learned. However I love birthdays (well, any holiday really) so I say celebrate yoself! And how you treat yourself is really up to you. For instance, I’ve had some really great birthdays celebrated overlooking Central Park and lots of yummy dinners with friends. And a surprise birthday gift from the Mister (I can normally guess what gifts I’m getting, but that birthday in particular was a complete surprise). But this year, because we are on a budget, I didn’t really want to do anything spectacular. So it was super low key, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun. For me.
See, it’s all in how you look at things sometimes. I knew there wouldn’t be any firework type birthday celebration but that’s okay. I spent the day doing things I really enjoy with people that I enjoy. I started the day with reading that fabulous book pictured above. It was a birthday gift and one that I really enjoyed! Then I free ranged the girls for a bit. I took the dog for a walk up the hill. I’ve been letting her off leash to run and get her energy out. And for some training time. Let’s face it. She’s not the most trained, or well-behaved, dog. So I’m trying to work with her and get her energy out so she’ll be a little bit calmer. But really she’s very immature and it’s hard to work with that. I think sometimes we need to let the dog mature before we expect great things. But in the meantime, I’ll keep working with her to get her to that stage, hopefully.
I picked basil because it was quickly getting out of control. I made a caprese salad for dinner and then planned to use the leftover basil for basil ice cream. I’ve been hearing about basil ice cream for a couple of years but was too lazy to actually make it. I’ve actually had the ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid mixer for a few years but only used it once. So far this season I’ve used it twice with plans for at least two more batches of ice cream!
On my walk with Anna Lee I picked some daisies and wild chamomile so I could make some oil for soap making. I almost missed daisy season because I waited so long! The heat and the sun were cooking them faster than I could fit it into my schedule. But I ended up picking enough to make one batch of oil. There’s still more daisies and chamomile to pick but I think I’m okay with one batch each. I should get a few bars of each soap and that will be enough for gift giving and for our use at home. The oil has to set for a few weeks so more info on that later. I did finish off my dandelion oil so that’s ready for a batch of soap. I’ve added it to my ever growing to-do list.
Right now I’m up to my elbows in seasonal produce. Cherries are on sale so I have about 8 pounds of cherries to process still. Cherry Ice Cream, Cherry Preserves, and Cherry Butter. But let’s get back to birthday celebrations. Because it’s not over yet! Oh, right. Daisies! As you can see from the pic above, Bobby Jack was doing an excellent job of helping me with the daisies. He’s such a good worker. He must be tired from mousing all night.
The end of my birthday day, the Mister took me to Red Lobster where I pretended I was at the beach and ordered a frozen drink along with my Maine Lobster Bake. Yum! We also did a little supply shopping and then walked to the river that night once we got home.
But the festivities don’t end there! The next day, the Mister went fishing all day and I was literally left by myself for a whole day! If you know anything about living at a fishing lodge, this is no easy task during the season. There are always people around (which is good. People=money). But every once in a while, especially this time during the season, you’ll find a day where there are few customers and that means you can escape to the river for a couple of hours. In my case, the boys went fishing and this girl turned the tunes up and processed lots of produce. In fact, I made that basil ice cream and plum preserves and fig jam with thyme. It was so. much. fun. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. And then I slept for 10 hours that night! What?!?!
The next day was just as full and exciting. I walked Anna Lee three times up the hill, off leash. She’s doing really well with recall. And I swam for about 2 hours. And I played with chickens. And did some cleaning. And we cooked out burgers on the grill.
I guess my point is that birthdays don’t always have to be about flashy stuff, big trips or presents, or glamour. It can be low key and still be full of good things. That book I mentioned above? It’s the only gift I received. But I’m not sad about it. I received so many other gifts in various forms that I didn’t even notice that I didn’t have tons of gifts. I’m really starting to enjoy the simpler things in life at this point in my life. And if I hadn’t of had a major life changing event last year, I don’t think I would have gotten to this point in my life. So count your blessings and then go celebrate yoself!