Monday, September 13, 2010

Sometimes it is all about me

As I may have mentioned a time or a hundred I have a birthday coming up in a few days.
I've decided to take a cue from my daughters and stretch it out to the nth degree.
Consider this a pre-pre-birthday post.
I'm older and I've earned it.
I love birthdays and I don't even care that I'm turning a certain age that we won't specifically mention here because every birthday is special and meant to be celebrated.

So, how did we kick off Birthday Week?
Silly reader, of course its going to last all week.
Anyway, we spent all day Saturday hiking in a nearby State Forest.
We didn't mean to.
We had planned to just take the dog for a walk and then hubs read about some waterfalls in the forest so we decided to check them out.
Let's just say that thanks to the lack of recent rain they were high and dry.

That didn't stop us from climbing the extremely steep steps all the way to the top.
Still very pretty, even without the water.
And then of course you have to climb back down which is no easy feat with an enthusiastic dog in the lead.

We had to drive a bit further to get to the car park at the trail entrances and along the way we saw this...

It looked suspiciously like a Cottonmouth minding his own business in the middle of the street.
Of course we had to stop the car and hubs had to poke it til it reared its head and loudly hissed.
And I had to calculate whether or not I could find my way out of the forest should anti venom become necessary.
Thankfully it did not.

Cottonmouths are not typically found in NJ and after checking with all knowing Google we could not find anything that looked exactly like this one.
Except a Cottonmouth.

We eventually pulled ourselves away from the snake and headed for the trails.
Since we'd already climbed a thousand steps with the dog we opted for a trail marked mild but somehow ended up merging onto a difficult trail which ended up merging somewhere along the way with the Appalachian Trail.
It's lucky I'm not old yet because towards the top you had to use your hands to get over the rocks.

Good times.

We did it though and the view was worth it.

The dog might not agree.

It was a long way up.
And a long way down.
Apparently the way up was identical to the route down but that did not stop me from having the following conversation with hubs-

Me: Didn't we take the light blue trail up?
Him: You don't know where you are, do you?
Me: I know where I am.
Him: We took the green trail.
And why do you question me when it comes to directions?
I could have pointed to the car park from the top of that mountain we were just on.

insert here pulling the map out of the backpack with a huff

Him: !Look! !Look at the map!
Me: You don't know what its like to go thru life without any sense of direction.
(no metaphor intended)
Him: How do you not know where you are?
Me: How is it we have been married for 26+ years and you continue to ask me that question?
Him: All you need to do is look for the sun and you'll know which way is west.
Me: Huh?
Him: Sigh. I give up.

Tonite we have tickets to see the NY Jets play the Baltimore Ravens.
I'm feeling conflicted because we lived in the Baltimore area for almost 10 years so I'd like to root for the Ravens.
But we're in Jets country and will most likely be surrounded by Jets fans.
Plus, this is the Jets first game in their new stadium and they gave us Commemorative tickets that are hard plastic attached to a very nice Jets lanyard.
Free bling wins me over a little bit.
Is an NFL Lanyard bling?

Friday my hubs has something fun planned.
He has had it planned for a while.
It's a surprise.
He asked me this weekend if I wanted to know what the surprise is.
Hubs is great at lots of things.
Keeping a secret is not one of them.
He can keep a secret.
He just doesn't like to.
Anyway, I said no.
Because I like surprises.
As long as they're the good kind.
I'm sure a birthday surprise is the good kind.

I hope there is no map reading involved.

Finally, lovely blog readers....
I'd love to take questions from the studio audience for my actual birthday post.
I'm not sure there is anything left to tell as I'm pretty much an open book here, but if there is some piece of minutia I haven't covered then please, fire away.
Send me a question and I'll answer it at my blog birthday party this weekend.
If you read my blog on facebook you can come to the party too...just message me your question there.
ensure that somebody sends me a question make it a little bit more fun, there will be a prize awarded to the person who submits my favorite question.
No criteria-no rules.
Just submit a question and I'll answer them all and then pick my favorite.
That's right.
My favorite.
Hey, it is my birthday.


  1. Having a birthday week sounds like a great idea! My husband isn't very good at keeping secrets either. : ) And wow! I can't believe that set of stairs!

    Here's my question: with all the traveling you've done around the world, is there any place you haven't been yet that you've always wanted to go?

  2. I have the same sense of direction: I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag with a map.
    Sounds like you had a good day, even though you weren't sure where you were!
    Way to milk it, girl! Have a happy birthday week!

  3. It looks like a great place to visit. I love how you and Hubs finds the best places to see. Directions and I don't get along that well either. Sigh.

    Question: What is your favorite recipe and will you post the recipe at some point but not necessarily during birthday week? :-) Boring question, but I like recipes. :-) If I think of anymore questions, I'll be sure to ask.

  4. Have a Happy Birthday Week!

    Question: Where in the world have you had your bed dining experience? And what was it?

  5. I always think it's a good idea to celebrate birthdays for a whole week (or more) and EVERY year is a year worth celebrating.

    And you share a birthday week with my sister, so that's cool too.

    Question: Your dream concert line up would be? And where would it be? And if it is superawesome can I come too?

  6. Happy Birthday, I just had mine September 1st then my 50th anniversary the 10th so been a busy month for us too, hope your day is as blessed as mine was, yeah I stretched mine out too, giggles, more fun that way. Hugs and blessings, Barbara

  7. Your hike looks like alot of fun, other than the snake piece. Not a huge fan. Have a wonderful birthday week and I can't wait to hear what your hubs takes you on Friday.

  8. Hey teacher!!teacher teeeaaaacher. teacher!teacher!teacher!
    Who was your most memorable student to teach and where do you suppose they are now and do you think they think of you and if so, how?

    (memorable can be for any reason, not just the supremely gifted and talented student...and student can be used in a metaphorical sense, just in case one of your students learns to ascertain directions by looking at the sun :0
    lots of love this week..
    if we were in SP, Gary's pumpkin muffins and spiced tea would be in order

  9. A birthday week sounds wonderful -- I must try that sometime. And I loved the exchange with Hubs -- very funny!

    Okay, here is my question: When blogging, which is easier: to start by creating the title and then write the narrative or to create a killer title from the narrative that you've written?

  10. Sounds like a good start to your birthday week.

  11. A good sense of direction is highly over rated. To think of all the things I would have missed seeing in life had I not been lost!

    What is is about men that makes them POKE at snakes. Weird.

  12. I love the idea of a birthday week but I never seem to do it, perhaps this year I should ;) My mom's birthday is on Wednesday, she'll be 85, not sure what exact day yours is Joyce, but have a wonderful day... oh and a GREAT WEEK of course ;)
    hugs Denise

  13. Love the idea of a Birthday Week! What a great idea. Hopefully, your husband will be able to keep the birthday surprise a surprise.
    Enjoy it all as you deserve it.

  14. Question: Are you a coffee drinker or tea? Do you need to have it to wake up?

  15. Wait a minute!!
    Do you have a birthday coming soon? ;)

  16. What a great week you're having. Guess you were secretly pleased with the outcome of last night's football game.

    Okay, I'll ask it, since nobody else has. Exactly how old are you? Is this one of those round number birthdays?

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure you're still younger than me, so it's okay for me to ask.

    Happy Birthday, a little early.

  17. I think Birthday Months are a good idea also especially on big ones!

    I am also a tad incompetent on the whole directional thing. In fact the Hubs doesn't even ask me anymore and just makes sure any car of mine has a GPS. I mean, isn't right always South? Hmmm

    Happy Birthday Week!!

    I hope your surprise involves daughters. Just sayin'

  18. FIrst off - Happy Birthday! Happy week-long birthday! Perfect!
    2nd - you are a SHE WOMAN! Had I seen the snake, I'd've been outta there so fast, I wouldn't've had time to get lost.
    Me and snakes just DO NOT mix. At all!
    What a great picture of everything within your vision from the top!
    And I adored your conversation. You are so funny.
    Have a great Birthday Week!!!!
    :) Karen

  19. Okay, I love this post (except for the snake..ewww). I love birthday weeks and that's how I celebrated mine this year. Youngest daughter is in the middle of her week now for number 16.

    Question: Since you've traveled a lot, what is the absolute most favorite place you've been and why? Would love pictures too.

  20. I'm still working on a funny question. My funny bone isn't functioning well this week!

  21. How cool was that walk, I wish I had a place around here to walk like that. My dog would love it.

  22. A birthday week? Wonder if I could pull that off? (I doubt it!)

    Sounds like a you're off to a great birth-day!

    I would like to know what your first days on this earth were like?

  23. I just had a birthday too! sept. 4th and like you I LOVE MY Birthday! where are you hiking here? Email me if you don't want to say. It looks beautiful.

  24. I'm behind on my blog reading, so I missed on sending a question. Sorry! I have been busy boxing up my house at night this week, getting ready to have new carpet put down on Friday. Talk about a mess... my whole upstairs (except the furniture) is boxed up and sitting everywhere on the first floor. It is disastrous, but will be well worth it when things are all back to normal. Or is there such a thing as "normal"? At our house we have been known to stretch out birthdays for a month at least. And especially since this is a biggy!!! Enjoy! Love & blessings from NC!

  25. Nice shots of the snake. It is a harmless Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos).