"Birth" day reflections from the birthday girl

The time for tinsel is over and now comes the time of truth--for me anyway. The new year falls ever so close to my birthday so I sort of get slam dunked into taking a magnifying glass to my life. Good news is my mind and heart only feel obligated to take a good long, hard look at myself once a year. It’s my annual gut check, if you will. A time to focus on what I have accomplished, what I may have done wrong and what I clearly did right!

As far back as I can remember my “birth” day has always made me think. It really is pretty amazing there is a day designated to celebrate your entrance into the world. If you are fortunate people will take a moment out of their own day on yours. For fifty-plus years these wishes came in the form of birthday cards or calls. Nowadays, they “hit me up” (I’m still so cool at 52) with a text, snapchat or Facebook message. This year my family organized a 22-minute homemade video overflowing with messages from some of the people who love me. As expected, it hit all my emotions. It was my “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment, confirming for me what I always believed: That “No man is a failure who has friends.”

Back to “birth” day thinking … without getting into the nitty gritty, shouldn’t the day actually be a celebration for the two who made it all possible? My mom and dad biologically made me, therefore it should be theirs to celebrate as well. To celebrate that I am determined and hardworking like my mom. For them to clink glasses that I love nature and cooking like my dad. To chat about how fortunate I am to be handed down my mother’s youthful skin. Even to discuss the idea that my long legs probably came from my dad’s side. They both provided a very comfortable and safe growing up for my sister and me. As the saying goes though, it takes a village and I learned from others as well. My second-grade teacher sparked my love of writing. It was my mother’s friend who began my affinity for crafting. It was my aunt and uncle who taught me the art of generosity and entertaining. So my birthday is a day for them to celebrate as well.

Much of who I am is unquestionably due to the friends I have made in my lifetime. Ultimately, they have taught me the importance and joy of true friendship. Each and every single person I call friend, which encompasses family too, have contributed to my being. Who I am. How I think. What I see and feel. Why I live. Whether they are lifetime friends or recent “acquisitions,” each friend betters me. I learned this important lesson as a very young girl while reading my book of Aesop’s Fables.

The Donkey and his Purchaser

A man wished to purchase a Donkey, and he decided to give the animal a test before buying him. He took the Donkey home and put him in the field with his other Donkeys. The new Donkey strayed from the others to join the one that was the laziest and the biggest eater of them all.  Seeing this, the man led him back to his owner. When the owner asked how he could have tested the Donkey in such a short time, the man answered, “I didn’t even need to see how he worked.  I knew he would be just like the one he chose to be his friend.”

Moral: A man is known by the company he keeps.

So as my 51st year comes to an end, let me say a huge thank you to those who have helped mold me, better me, and even reshape my thinking at times. I have enjoyed the shared drinks and meals as well as the times we have crafted together. I am grateful for those who have traveled with or to me and to all for loving me!

Moral: Friends are not decided by proximity in miles but in heart.

your "birthday girl" friend,


A little new project I’m working on: With Jake home from college it is apparent that my son has the same affinity for redoing that I do. He has spearheaded a new project … a fire pit built into our back brick patio! So, here are a few pictures from the Stoutland Inn.