My Week: Threescore and Ten Minus One

I’ve heard “threescore and ten” all my life and now I’m almost there. When I was 20, I never thought about me at 69. I never even thought about me at 50 but life goes on and at an increasingly faster clip. Psalm 90:10 in the Good News Translation puts it this way and it’s not too encouraging:

Seventy years is all we have—
eighty years, if we are strong;
yet all they bring us is trouble and sorrow;
life is soon over, and we are gone.

I’m not going to spend my days lamenting so let’s get away from the fragility of our existence.

Sunday, DD called and we discussed my birthday plans. At the time, I thought I was going to spend the night with DS1 (my daughter-in-law and granddaughter had gone to fetch his mother-in-law from Indiana). We also talked about the Women’s Ministry Breakfast at the sister church and I assured her I would be going even I had to go alone. I’d invited DS2 DIL and granddaughter but that was still up in the air. She mentioned I could ask my neighbor/cousin but that isn’t quite her venue plus she is helping to care for her construction partner’s brother this weekend.

There was still snow on the ground from the day before and more had fallen during the night. I didn’t go to do my grocery shopping until Monday.

Tuesday came and with it a flurry of emails from the editor of the SSNet web site. She was sending me instructions on how to access the files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and advising me to download KompoZer to correct errors and prepare both the lessons and Helps to upload to the server. I was getting more and more frustrated trying to figure out what she was telling me. It’s the first time ever I preferred cleaning out the cat box to doing something on the computer.

Another email came. What was my phone number? She thought she had it but she couldn’t find it. I sent it to her. The phone rang almost immediately and the call lasted for almost two hours. At the end of that time, I had a good idea of what I was supposed to be doing. I told her if keeping an active mind staved off Alzheimer’s, I was safe. She laughed.

One of my friends was at Costco and called to see if I wanted anything. Campari tomatoes! “Are those good??” I said no, that I get them because they’re bad. OF COURSE, they’re good! She should get some and try them. They’re like summertime tomatoes.

DS1 called and said he was going to be getting home very late on Thursday so it would be better if I didn’t come. I was disappointed and relieved all at once. That left me free to go to the cafe I’d checked out on Monday. It was the one place in town I could be assured I could get a vegan meal.

I called my neighbor/cousin and asked what she was doing Thursday. Nothing she knew of. I told her it was my birthday and I’d like the two of us to go out to eat, my treat. “But I should be paying!” I suggested going dutch and she agreed.

UPS brought a box that was big enough I could have crawled inside and gotten shipped somewhere. The gift tag gave it away but I resolved not to open it until The Day. There was a five lub bag of organic popcorn in the bottom of the box which was another clue.

That night, I could NOT go to sleep. I’d look at the clock and it was getting later and later but I wasn’t nodding off. I finally got up and went back to downloading, correcting, and uploading and completed one lesson and the Helps. It was after 2 a.m. when I climbed into my bed a second time and was able to drift off. At 6, I was wide awake again.

One of the girls at church texted me and asked if I wanted her mother to pick me up for prayer meeting. No. I was bushed and all I wanted to do was to SLEEP.

I slept very well, thank you, and DS1 called almost the first thing on Thursday and sang to me. We talked while he rode down the highway with his truck-driver partner at the wheel. Later on, my neighbor/cousin called but all she’d sing was the first phrase of the song we all know so well. DD called but she didn’t sing. DS2 may call me sometime next week, if at all. Facebook greetings were coming in left and right.

Genese started a new Wordscraper game in honor of the occasion. She deferred to me for the first move which can work out to be either a blessing or a curse. If she has me start first, it usually doesn’t bode well for me.

Birthday Wordscraper

My sisters each sent me an e-card. Those are my favorites. I can enjoy them over and over but I don’t have to choose whether to keep them in a drawer somewhere or throw them away.

I ate breakfast, worked on links on SSNet, and then showered and dressed early enough to go to the mailbox before we were scheduled to leave. There was a package from my DS1 granddaughter but I didn’t open it. That could wait.

My neighbor called again. “You’re all dressed up!!” I had on sweat pants, a top she’d given me and a jacket from Goodwill. Yeah. Dressed up.

Since it was my birthday, I decided I could be the passenger and my cousin the chauffeur. I’m usually behind the wheel so that was a nice touch.

The cafe was deserted but the chef said we’d gotten there not long after a roomful of the lunch crowd had left. It was nice to have our pick of tables. We chose one by the window so we could watch the occasional vehicle pass. Downtown, itself, isn’t the busy place it used to be.

My Cousin

Yours truly

Unbeknownst to me, the waitress had been informed that we weren’t going dutch—I was being treated. I was assured I could still order whatever I wanted and not to be shy. Even though I’d had breakfast, I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach. The chef had reworked the menu to show which items were either vegan or could be veganized and there was too much that looked good.

We started our meal with the tomato bruschetta. It was delicious. The tomatoes were fresh and the garlicky EVOO that they were dressed with was seasoned just right.

Tomato Bruschetta

Next, I was served my pasta (I failed to tell them I’m allergic to spinach so this is after I’d picked out most of it and put it to the side)


and my salad with house dressing.

Minimalist Salad

The portions, as promised, were generous/yummy and I brought a lot of the pasta home for the next day.

My cousin had a sandwich she said was good. She offered me a bite but I passed.

Sandwich with Salad and Fruit

There was no way I could eat a whole poached pear so I asked for the dessert to be divided and each of us get half.

Poached Pear with Ganache and Slivered Almonds

To say I was stuffed would be an understatement. I felt like a sausage as I waddled out of the restaurant. Being it was my birthday, I was sent home with a little gift bag and a thank you/birthday note:

Happy Birthday Bag

There were four tissue-wrapped little vegan bites inside:

Vegan "Cheesecake" Bites

The little package from my granddaughter was still unopened so I said, “Happy birthday to me!” and got the scissors. There was a birthday card with a note:

Dear Granny Sue,
I made you this hat for your upcoming birthday. It was a new and unique pattern, & I hope you like it as much as I do! I love you lots and lots! I hope we can see you soon & have a spectacular birthday!!!
Your Granddaughter

This was my best “in the bathroom mirror” shot, mostly because it’s a tad out of focus. I’m modeling the hat.

The Birthday Girl

I opened my gift from DD and, sure enough, it was the popcorn popper from my wish list.

Popcorn Popper

It had been a busy day, for sure.

Yesterday, I had to catch up on my proofreading and correcting the errors on the lessons on SSNet. I’m gradually getting more comfortable with doing the corrections myself but it did take longer than I hoped it would. I’d told myself I really needed to eat breakfast earlier but I’d gotten involved in my computer work and it was noon before I ate.

The second Sabbath of every month is the general fellowship meal. I’d not had time to change the bed or do laundry (I did have clean clothes, though). Usually, I take some kind of food that doesn’t require a lot of after-church preparation but I’d been wanting to try making a vegan “cheese” sauce. I checked the time and it was still over two hours until sundown. Piece o’ cake! NOT! I counted the tasting spoons later and there were 15. It was well after 7 when I finished and washed the dishes.

This morning, I either slept through the alarm or it didn’t work. Whichever, I was a bit late getting out of bed. I’d washed the romaine for my salad yesterday so I chopped it along with some cucumber and onion and put it in my pretty salad bowl either my sister or my mother gave me one Christmas. The rest of the ingredients went into individual storage bowls and into an insulated bag.

One of my friends is gluten intolerant so I wanted to fix some gluten-free vegan “mac & cheese”. I’ve never cooked gluten free pasta the day before so I waited until this morning. Twinkle was a bit frazzled by all my dashing about and when I’d get close to her, she’d run. When it was time to leave, I hadn’t had anything to eat but a banana.

My cousin and cousin-in-law had gone to her sister-in-law’s mother’s funeral so they missed both Sabbath School and church. They showed up later.

I missed a lot of the pastor’s sermon (it was pointing out the difference between “chores” and “work”) because I went to the fellowship hall to put the M&C in the oven and finish fixing my salad. I told him later that I was out “doing my chores”.

The sign saying “Gluten free/Vegan” somehow disappeared. The pastor was going through the line so I told him what it was. He’s vegan so he really loaded his plate with it. I think everyone got some. It was the only dish on the table that was completely cleaned up. There was a bit of salad left that I put in a bowl for Genese.

I don’t know what time it was when I got to Genese’s room. I do know that, after we’d visited and then visited with another visitor and visited some more when she left, the phone rang at 4 p.m. CST. That’s when I took my leave. If the phone call hadn’t interrupted us, I might have still been there.

My camera phone was handy so I took a picture of the “buttermilk sky” when I got home.

Buttermilk Sky

There are some developments on my U-verse account. I got my bill and it was for $29.05. THAT couldn’t be! It’s supposed to be $24.95 a month. I went to my account online and realized then that it was a credit of $29.05. I pulled up the detail and there were three credits—one for $74 (that was for charges, credits, payments and adjustments from last month), another for $20, and a third for $30. A phone call had explained the second one. That was for the time I’d been without access during the outage. The $30 was covered in an email. It was rewarding me for being a “loyal U-verse customer”. I’ve been with U-verse since November 28. They really ARE paying me for having access!

The coming week has GOT to be a little less hectic. I’m beginning to believe that being retired is busier than working.

8 Responses to My Week: Threescore and Ten Minus One

  1. Lila February 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    A lot of interesting reading about a lot of activity! I didn’t realize DS1’s mother-in-law was with them now. I hope she is not suffering and doing better than might be expected. Beautiful buttermilk sky picture, and I like the others too. You have excellent equipment and expert technique. Envy is wrong, so I will resist that and just appreciate the fact that you are my sister.

    • Tommie February 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      My DIL and granddaughter started out the weekend before and had to turn around because of road conditions. They went, I think, the next day and got back on Friday, the 8th.

      The buttermilk sky picture was taken with my camera phone and I don’t know that I’d call that “excellent” equipment but thank you.

  2. Mary Jane February 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    The food looked beautiful and luscious. It would be nice to eat there sometime, but I don’t ‘spose that’s too likely as it’s a fur piece from here to there.

    I like the hat, too. It looks nice and warm, and I’m impressed that your granddaughter made it. I’m sure you will enjoy using the popcorn popper and devouring the results for a long time!

  3. Tommie February 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Yes, it’s a long way but maybe someday…

    I know I’ll enjoy the hat and the popcorn! I was going to eat some popcorn this evening but it got too late too quickly.

  4. Pascale February 12, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    We thank you for your visit at Cafe Pascale. It is a pleasure to serve your birthday feast. We wish you a wonderful day:)Pascale Deighan

    • Tommie February 12, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Thank YOU, Pascale! You are an artist in the kitchen!

  5. Juanita February 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Happy Belated Birthday!! I’ve been reading your blog (from the beginning) for the past year or so and been enjoying it–and the present entries also. (I think I’m at April of ’08.)

    • Tommie February 15, 2013 at 7:48 am #

      Thank you for the birthday wish, Juanita! You must be a brave soul to wade through all that. I’m impressed.

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