Monday, October 8, 2012

A Peak into my Birthday

I usually don't blog about my birthday, being a bit shy about that I usually sneak in the events of the day by sharing how we went out of town. The last few years my birthday fell on Prelude to Victory weekend but this year it was in the middle of the week. I got an e-mail from my mother-in-law this morning who I think was hinting for a few pictures. =) She's my number one blog reader and I started this blog primarily for her. It's a chance for her to keep in touch with what we are doing and to see pictures of her grandchildren, so if any of you are interested in sharing in this little birthday tour, please do come along. =)

Usually we go out for the day on my birthday. However my husband had to work and I am dealing with muscle injuries in my legs and feet, which are indeed slowly healing! My daughter was on fall break from college and I had considered whisking us away to Hillwood Mansion and Estates for their latest gown collection (which is an ingenious surprise and one I hope to do soon) and to enjoy their lovely fall colors in the gardens. However I woke up with a splitting headache and mucle aches and being a cold, cold day (what happened to autumn?) I decided to stay in the comfort of home. Due to the invention of the internet, my daughter's college instructors have a bad habit of e-mailing last minute assignments, so she suddenly had history to deal with in preparation for Wednesday morning. My son however encouraged me to take the day off so he could take the day off. How about games? For each game I chose, he said they would help him on the soon to come PSAT. So we closed up book school, opened up game school and proceeded forth. (Pain meds zapped the muscle pain and headache for the rest of the day btw!)

My favorite game is Scrabble, in fact this is a previous gift from my mother in law. My son usually wins. This day though I won with over 300 points! He couldn't believe it. Neither could I. We made a new word with our leftover letters at the top left. He had "quiz" left and I had "u" left.

Then we played another round of Scrabble, I won again, with another 300+ points.

My son said that was enough of that. He wanted me to choose another game. I chose Blokus because I like thinking games. Also I wanted a game with little luck, mostly skill, and lots of deep thinking. That way while he was thinking, I could hand stitch the boning channels on my 18th century stays. In the process I completed panel #3 of 10. In Blokus there are 4 teams, so we each took 2 colors. That was crazy and keeping track of two teams threw him (my only hope.) On this rare occasion, I won!
We played another round and I won again.

At this point I lost the birthday privilege of choosing my own games. =0 My son brought up some numbers and ABC dice games from CW that I showed him how to use. He smeared me in those so I quickly thought of another game...Nertz! I love Nertz but haven't had a chance to effectively play since I got married. The only person in my family who has any leaning towards being up to the mental demands is my son. I tried with my husband years ago but he purposely prefers to take the 4mph route to playing this game which defeats the entire purpose. This is meant to be a 4000mph game. My son got two decks of cards, both from CW. We each got a deck and each deck has it's own decoration so we can tell them apart. Then we play a combined speedy version of solitaire. He liked this game a lot. We play up to 100 points but never got that far. We each took turns winning a hand, but overall, I got the most points. Due to the nature of the game, he didn't seem to mind losing this game so much! I never got pictures of this game. That's kind of difficult when we are in such a flurry.

While my son played games with me, my husband cooked dinner. He was going to take me out but I wanted a good steak and we've yet to find good steak in Virginia. Why eat out when we can properly grill our own steak! My husband prefers sirloin but the last few I got were duds. Sirloin can be a great cut of meat, but I think the grades of sirloin we purchased were cheap in flavor. My preference is filet mignon which I could not find at the commissary. However I did find beef tenderloin. Hmmmm....It cost $20. I don't like to pay that much for meat, then I reasoned we could cut 4 steaks out of that and that would come to $5 a piece, which is what I always paid for precut filet mignon in Texas. Then I reasoned we should be able to cut 8 steaks out of this cut which would mean 2 delicious meals at only $2.50 per steak. My husband did just that so we have another steak dinner in our future. My husband wrapped bacon around these steaks and grilled them, never once asking me for help. I was surprised. He was worried. But we all agreed that they are the best steaks we've eaten since moving from Texas! He properly cooked them to medium rare and they had a lovely smokey taste to them. He even told me he does what I do, seasoning them with salt, pepper and garlic powder before grilling them. I asked for sauteed mushrooms to go on top of those. We had baked potatoes with all the fixings. And my daughter made a delicious toss salad. For dessert we had chocolate satin pie from Marie Callendar! Gracing the table was a lovely autumn scented Yankee Candle.

After dinner we took a walk then came home to open presents. My kids chipped in on a funny present. Last summer we were at Cracker Barrel where I saw a DVD set of Hugh O'Brien as Wyatt Earp. I told the kids that Hugh O'Brien was our cousin. My great grandma, who had the same last name as my maiden name, was on an airplane years ago and started chatting with the lady next to her who also had the same last name. I've never met anyone with my maiden name except my own family members, it is that rare! They got to talking and the lady said she had a close family member in Hollywood whose stage name is Hugh O'Brien of Wyatt Earp fame. His real last name is the same as my last name (which no one can pronounce or spell, possibly the reason for his stage name). Later she received a lovely letter from Hugh O'Brien, as they reestablished their family aquaintance! I had never seen him in this role as Wyatt Earp so my kids thought I should buy the DVD set of the first season. I was tempted but the budget said otherwise and completely forgot the whole thing. I opened my package and that is exactly what my kids purchased for me!

My husband purchased a beautiful necklace for me. When we were at Colonial Williamsburg last August, the lovely lady proprieter, one of our many CW favorites, helped him agonize over the purchase while my daughter and I walked up and down the streets looking for the guys and tried to call them on my fancy new smart phone (no reception in the building). I immediately put on my new necklace!

We ended the day by watching Anne of Green Gables, which I hadn't watched since moving to Virginia. It was fun to watch a favorite movie for pure enjoyment and to ooh and ahh over the great lines, the gorgeous scenery and the delightful costumes.

Also thank you for the birthday greetings from some of you. Also this was my first birthday while on Facebook and was quite surprised by the fun of all the birthday greetings!

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