Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I Did on My Birthday

Today, December 22, is my birthday. Shall I tell how old I am? I'll whisper it. 56.

Me when I was cute.

I had a great birthday.

It started with being allowed to sleep late, till 9:30. I've been suffering from insomnia lately, so sleeping late was a sweet indulgence. On a normal day, despite my insomnia, I'm up at 6:40 to drive Nigel to the train station, but Nigel's group at work has started working at home on Thursdays, which -- hooray for me! -- coincided with my birthday.

So my day started with me stumbling downstairs into the kitchen, still a bit bleary-eyed, searching for coffee. What do I see but a card and a packet of chocolates waiting for me on the kitchen table. Fran's salted caramels, my favorite. Fran's is a Seattle institution.

My birthday breakfast (the Network World mug is a relic of my former life as an editor)

The card was perfect.

Not flowery and sentimental and overdone. Just simple wishes for a simple day. Which is just what I had.

What did I do on my birthday?

Did laundry. Cleaned the refrigerator (Ugh! It needed it). Cleaned the oven (It's self-cleaning, so all I had to do really was press some buttons and wipe the ash off at the end). Washed some dishes, and thoroughly scoured the kitchen sink when I was done. Went out in the garage to check on my latest projects. Wandered around the intarwebs (wasted time on Pinterest). Went out in the early afternoon with Nigel for a latte and a blueberry scone. Read a book (Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton).

When I was young I would have been astounded if someone had told me that a perfect day for me would be one spent indulging in blissful domesticity. I thought finding enjoyment in housekeeping was a betrayal of my feminist principles (it isn't).

In the evening Nigel and I went out to a local restaurant called HG Bistro for a lovely meal.

Please forgive the bad cell phone photography.

My dinner companion


Our appetizer, crostini with Brie and smoked pork with cole slaw and balsamic reduction

My entree, lamb chops (medium rare) with bean and lentil ragout

Dessert, lemon lava cake (so good!)

Now, while I type up this blog post, Nigel is downstairs playing a video game. There is one last load of laundry waiting to be put away. And I'm hoping the "peaceful dreams to end the day" are in my future.

Happiness is a clean kitchen sink and a good night's sleep.


  1. Alison, Happy birthday!! Did I miss it on FB? I am going to be (56) as well, in about 3 weeks. While your day sounds about like mine would be...not going to do the fridge, hahaha. Think the dogs will let me sleep in? HA

  2. A very happy birthday wish to you! I have several December birthday folks in my life...none as close to Christmas as you though. Must have been difficult when you were a kid, and so into a simple celebration.

  3. Happy 56th Birthday, Alison! You are now my age. You were the sweetest little girl and, believe it or not, she's still right there in the older you. Just look at the sweetly coy picture Nigel took of you at dinner. I fully understand your enjoyment of simple pleasures. It's good to know you spent your day doing exactly what you felt like doing. I'm not so sure folding laundry would have made it on to my list, though. Laundry and I have had an ongoing battle for the last 33 years. Thankfully, Bill helps out a lot! I do hope you had the sweetest uninterrupted dreams. This brings you love and an extra big hug! xoxo

  4. Alison! 39 again! Happy Birthday! Best wishes!!!

  5. Wow, you look like you had an awesome day!! Happy Birthday! Sorry it's late, but I spent the day yesterday getting bitchslapped by customers. :(

  6. Happy birthday, Alison. It sounds like you had a perfect day. I, too, have been turned on to the joys of salted caramel since my visit to Seattle this summer. It was great to meet you then.

  7. Alison, you had a lovely day with life in harmony. What more could any of us ask for. Happy Birthday a day late, I send my wishes for a wonderful year ahead :)

  8. It looks like you had a perfect day, Alison, and what a wonderful meal. Happy, happy day, and to you and yours we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

  9. Thanks for the birthday wishes from everyone! It was a very sweet day.

  10. Happy sounds like you had a great time...and dinner looked fabulous!

  11. Happy Birthday a day late! It's funny how our idea of a good time changes as we get older. On my birthday I'd rather hang around here with my family then do anything else. Your dinner looked so yummy!

  12. Sounds like a grand day to me! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!

  13. Alison, you were a very cute little girl, and you are still a very cute grown-up girl, too! Goodness, you haven't aged! I need your secret.

    I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday, it sounded just perfect. Hugs to you, dear lady!

  14. Happy birthday Alison! It looks like a wonderful day for you and Hubby. You had me at sleeping in! :)

  15. What a cute post, Alison;-) Happy Birthday to you (I think I sent wishes through FB, earlier!). You and my son are very close in birth dates...his is the 20th. He always gets his birthdays intermingled with Christmas which somehow seems to overpower it a little. Glad you had a 'simple' day and enjoyed it. I know exactly what you mean about the pleasures of doing domestic things that you once thought you'd never 'purposely' find yourself doing on a day you actually have a choice! With our 'age' comes great 'wisdom':-)

  16. I agree it sounds like the perfect way to spend a birthday! I, too, turned 56 in December...just a few weeks ahead of you.

    Happy belated birthday!


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