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too many birthdays!

2010-11-06 - 8:27 a.m.

I got a report that Cookie had employed his adept social engineering skills to wheedle his way out of his fancy palace of a parrot MacMansion intended for something like an entire family of macaws -- and back into his old-fashioned little Amazon cage with the getting-rickety tray. Now he refuses to return to the big flight. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home, I guess.

We took a spin around Cade's Cove yesterday. Despite rain, snow flurries, and even (on the way back) a few minutes of impertinent hail, there were lots of tourists on the same path so our hopes of the rain keeping the crowds down didn't exactly materialize in the Great Smoky Mountains. But you couldn't blame the looky-loos for coming out for a nice drive. There were still plenty of colorful leaves at the lower elevations, and the old farm-fields of orangey-type grass (is it cheat-grass? I know it's some grass that's a pest in the west) made a nice backdrop for the deer and, especially, the flocks of fat, bold wild turkeys foraging even in the rain. I'm not sure if my photos will come out or if the rain/mist will confuse my camera, but I've got hopes.

Daddy has often seen bears around here, and I think I have too, on a previous trip or two, but today there were a lot of park rangers lurking around, and the bears were nowhere to be seen. I thought hibernation, but Daddy says they won't hibernate while there are still so many acorns. They're just somewhere else where the park rangers aren't. According to one of his stories, the bears can even recognize the rangers' trucks. That's probably a crucial survival skill for a black bear if you want to keep picking the low-hanging tourist garbage can fruit and not find yourself summarily transported to Outer Mongolia.

Once back at the house, I had time to take a bath and get the thrilling poker plus misbehaving Cookie report from home, and then it was out to the Orangery for the foofy dinner. I wore the black velvet dress that came with the rhinestone white tie pin, along with the Miss Sixty boots and my Paraiba Tourmaline pendant set in white gold. Also, in a nod to the cold, my black leather coat courtesy of Trump and my rainbow knitted fancy scarf from Shooz...I guess it's a little weird that so many years after I quit blackjack, I'm still completely dressed courtesy of casino marketing. Well, courtesy of casino marketing except for my Paraiba Tourmaline, of course.

I had avoided eating all day, just coffee and evaporated milk for breakfast, and a cup of chili plus some of DH's leftover French fries for lunch, so I was ready to over-indulge. DH and my parents picked out a responsible and no-doubt-heart-healthy bottle of Shiraz, but I sipped (some might say guzzled) an Apple Martini. And when I'd finished that, I had a Chocolate Martini. Yikes. I also had a nice Beef Carpaccio for the appetizer, some of DH's goat cheese from his appetizer, and then the Lobster Crepe. Somehow, they ended up with a last glass of Shiraz at the bottom of the bottle, and I drank that too. Oopsy. For the grand finale, out came this huge cake wishing me Happy Birthday. Fortunately, there were only six candles on it, not the number that tradition suggests should actually be employed, or I'd still be struggling to blow them all out. In the event, I easily blew them out and made my wish. Who knows? Maybe it will all come true by next year, tee hee.

Oh, and my gifts. Well, I think I already mentioned that I collected my gift from IMOM early -- the Kenneth Cole "granny boots" (that's my Dad's name for them, I'm afraid) that I'm now breaking in. At my request, DH's gift to me was the laser surgery I got before the trip, and, in case I didn't mention it before, I'm really happy with the results. So, on my actual birthday, I just collected from my Mom and Dad. Tee hee. Daddy hates shopping, so he gave me the green rectangular gift that's always in style; its fate is probably to join the fund for future beautification projects, ha ha. Mom gave me one of those fancy jewelry boxes that are shaped like families of birds. I'll have to google the name in a minute, when I've saved this write-up. I think it's Limoges. I already have the one of the long-tailed fancy blue birds on the nest, with the nest being the jewelry box. This one is two owls, with the big owl opening to be the box, and the little owl with huge, rather alarmed eyes. There's also an egg on a chain -- so this jewelry box actually comes with its own jewel.

I just wish Cookie was here to get his cut of the cake. We'll have to have a late celebration just for him when I get back.

At my age, I always wonder if I even want my birthday acknowledged, but I have to admit that I had a great time. I think DH did too. I know that my parents don't like to drive so much any more after dark, so it was a very nice gesture for them to share the designated driver chores so that DH and I could party it up.

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