The Bountiful Birthday Blog


The time has come (and is now, past due) to regale everyone with the Big Birthday adventure of 2015. It actually began in 1945, but I’m going to skip a few decades and get right to the celebration stuff.

Negotiations, planning, arrangements, reservations for multiple plane flights, nearly did me in. I wanted to share this celebration with loved ones in Wisconsin and North Carolina, so the first leg took me to Atlanta and then Greensboro, where my Lodge Sisters, Ann and Salem greeted me warmly. We hugged, giggled and hurried off to fetch cooking supplies

WP_20150514_011 and special ingredients for chocolate martinis. (No kidding)

Once “home,” I unpacked and took a deep breath of a heavenly smell. All-day red sauce was simmering on the stove. (Ann’s specialty). First things first, I decanted the contraband (a Distillers WP_20150514_004Edition of Dalwhinnie single malt whisky barreled in 1997) into a beautiful carafe. The aromatic and beautiful spirit we would share with our favorite padre.


WP_20131208_014Louise and Christine joined us for an utterly divine chicken Parmesan dinner. Just when we were all too stuffed to move, Christine surprised us with an extraordinary 5 Spice pound cake with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Oh My God. It WP_20150514_007was incredible! Thank you, ladies!


Friday morning was another special treat. I slept late and did not have to get up for three dogs! Sadly my hosts got up early and were chomping at the bit for breakfast. My bad. I didn’t realize they were waiting.

I know! Let’s go to I Hop!   Now everyone was happy.

Saturday was Operation o’dark Herman Miller. ssshhh. We only got part way there when Ann insisted we get some nourishment for this dangerous [you’ll see why later] maneuver. A quick stop at Sheetz (yes, really) provided some surprisingly delicious biscuits. Sated, we were off to Ann’s regret-able day job. The parking lot was empty as we slipped unnoticed in the backdoor, punched in the code, and navigated the staircase with the imitation Aeron chair.

WP_20150516_002While Ann stopped to shoot off a business email note, Salem, sensing danger, perhaps, wrestled the authentic 56# Herman Miller Aeron chair downstairs and stowed it safely in the car. By.Herself.  Eeejit.

WP_20150514_005Once we were safely home, and sure we hadn’t been tracked, Cocktails and whining about our ailments ensued. Pretty soon, we all felt much better.

WP_20150517_004 Sunday was brunch on “The Porch” with the Sharp family. A hip trendy and very popular place with inspired creations featuring tater tots–what’s not to love? Add a mimosa, a sunny morning, in the outdoor tent, and great company. It was divine and blessed. Thanks Father Ben!

WP_20150520_001Monday we had a favorite breakfast Frittata with hash browns. YUM. I was careful to save myself for the long-awaited Ryan’s dinner.


winston holiday 127Later, on the wonderful porch, I was surprised and celebrated with an utterly magnificent leather messenger bag!WP_20150516_006

It was just as delicious as the frittata. In fact, I slept with it (the bag, not the frittata) and refused to take it off.


WP_20150518_005Several special events preceded Monday night at Ryan’s, not just my birthday, and we toasted each in an epic celebration of food and wine. We all had patiently saved up happy moments for this one.


WP_20150518_008     WP_20150518_010  We shared the best wines, the best dinners, the best service, as well as complimentary desserts. Then home by Uber. We had a nightcap and turned in to be ready for my morning departure.

It will be cherished as another bittersweet moment. I felt loved, spoiled, and didn’t want to go. However, I did want to see my Wisconsin family.


My brother picked me up at Mitchell Field Tuesday afternoon, and soon we were touring the fast growing new neighborhoods that surrounded, what used to be my home for over twenty years. Oconomowoc. I hardly recognized it.

V__D62AMy niece drove up from Chicago and we had a chance to catch up before joining my nephew to have a birthday dinner at the Irish Pub.


Everyone enjoyed dinner as we shared stories and memories of when we were all younger. Their thoughtful birthday gifts included jewelry, soaps, a surprising Yankee candle “Girl Scout Thin mint” and it smells just like the cookie. I told how I managed to miss the cookie sale every year, and out of the bag came a box of thin mints!WP_20150523_002


The next day an old friend dropped in for a visit. Then, John and I went through a box of memorabilia from forty years ago. Wow, some great pictures and information.  Then…it was time to go.


Now, it’s after Memorial Day weekend and I’ve been mulling over my past, present, and future. It’s been a long, interesting, roller coaster ride for which, I am grateful and blessed. My life has been filled with loving friends and family, challenging work, beautiful experiences, and more than a few pets. But there are a few more waiting for me.

Thank you all for touching my life and sharing yours.









13 thoughts on “The Bountiful Birthday Blog

  1. Alas, Jeanne, I have been out of action for half this year and missed wishing you happy birthday. RATZ to that! Sounds like you made out like a bandit regardless, so this is tardy me adding my wishes that your year is filled with love and laughter and people who lift your spirits and share the beauty of your heart. Happy Birthday Your Redhairness!

  2. I don’t know about the Tums, but this post certainly did make me hungry! Sounds like you had a wonderful time, Jeanne. And I have the little sister of your messenger bag. They’re great!

  3. What a lovely birthday celebration—looks like you were magnificently spoiled! I’m so glad you got to see your Wisconsin family, too, and that your niece and nephew were able to meet up with you.

  4. Excuse me. I’m going to get some Tums. So glad you had happy birthdayness. No one deserves it more than you. Xxoo

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