Mon anniversaire et j’ai quarante ans

Sometimes such a small and thoughtful gesture means the world to me.
A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday. I hadn’t been really looking forward to it and just wanted to lay low. I didn’t feel the need to celebrate with a party, or a boozy night. I am too past that kind of thing…too old and it simply takes way too long to recover. I like clarity the next day, and energy!

My good friend Nina surprised me with a small gathering at one of my favorite restaurants the Saturday before the big day. I thought she and I were going to have dinner together but she surprised me by planning a surprise party for me…Michelle and Sophie couldn’t come and neither could my mom but Natasha was there and the three of us had a marvelous time drinking Rosé Champagne and dining very slowly over the course of several hours. French restaurant, French style.

My mother spent Sunday and most of Monday with me. Sunday night we watched the Oscars with take out Thai food and Riesling. On Monday, my birthday, we went shopping for my nephew and his birthday. We had lunch at whole foods. We ate birthday cake she had made for a surprise party she had planned for me that fell through with my niece and nephews…my lovely sister in law ruined it as she ruins nearly everything pertaining to me. The cake was from one of my all time favorite recipes. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s wedding cake. It is a dense, rich white cake flavored with rose water and almond. It is exquisite. It was a beautiful surprise. She gave me a funky business card holder and a pretty, little, stars and moon perfume bottle.

That evening I went to a fantastic women sommelier wine dinner at Rioja featuring Prosecco made by a family of women. The lady presenting was named Elvira and her wines were superb. She could barely speak English so her and I switched to French. It was easier than trying to understand two languages neither of us knew.

My father took me to dinner on Tuesday. We went to Café Brazil and had one of the best meals I have ever had in Denver. I had prawns and scallops with some wicked spicy sauce over fresh veggies and coconut scented rice. My dad had ahi tuna and shrimp with curry and rice. We drank caparhina, which is the Brazilian traditional drink. My dad can be sweet and we see eye to eye on moving to another country. After so many years of strained relations it turns out we have quite a bit in common.

This Saturday I am having yet another dinner with friends celebrating the occasion. I received thoughtful cards and tokens of affection from my friends. My roommate bought me the third season of SATC to replace my worn copy.

I received the most opulent, fussy, decadent bouquet of flowers from Yves….stargazer lilies, tulips, iris, gerbera daisies, and many other flowers. My entire house smells like a spring garden.

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