September 6, 2004

What a glorious day!  Isn't it exciting that the very best day of my life happened to be on my birthday?  I feel so very pampered.  Everyone went out of their way to make sure I had a very special and wonderful day and I am so grateful!

Ha!  That paragraph is all that saved from the column I wrote yesterday on my actual birthday (Sept 5th).  :)  I was jammin away on a column, went to save and while it was uploading (which takes forever), the dialup connection dropped (which it does a couple of times a day), which caused my Front Page program to lock up, which caused me to lose everything I'd done.  After that happens, you kind of lose the buzz for recreating.

So here we go again. 

That's Valerie and Josh (22) in the top row, second picture, then Dylan and Delena, then Delena, then me.  Bottom row is Delena with Aiden, Delena with my son, David (24) and Aiden, and David alone with Aiden for a couple of shots.  He is absolutely the sweetest natured little baby since Dylan was tiny.  Just an absolute precious little soul.

The day was grueling.  It was hot and there were 6 of us crowded into the car driving all over town.  I loved seeing the kids.  The grandgirls were out and about with other relatives, so I didn't get to see them, but it was good to visit with Valerie, Josh and Aiden. 

After that, we went to Chuck E. Cheese, aka Parent Hell, for a couple of hours for the kids to play to celebrate Nathan's birthday.  After that, we went to the mall to get Nathan's hair cut and Delena's ears pierced (1st time).  Eric went to Barnes and Noble to look for study materials for getting his C-10 license.  Dave wanted to go to Tower Records, which is near there.  As soon as I got into the mall (it should be noted here that I desperately hate malls unless I'm walking straight into the movie theater and straight out again), Delena bailed on getting her ears pierced and I found out that both hair cutting joints in the mall charge $20 for hair cuts.  So I ended up sitting with the kids at the play area until the guys showed back up again, each of them empty handed for the things they wanted to get.  Eric got ice cream for the kids and we darted across the street and got Nathan's hair cut at Supercuts.  Score!  We were in and out in 20 minutes.  After that, it was a quick dash back to David's house for supplies and then up the hill.  We spent a nice evening visiting and talking and then went to bed.

Yesterday, I got up around 9 or so (kids were being docile).  Joe called to wish me happy birthday and we had a nice talk.  When Eric got up at 10:30, we got dressed and went to Placerville.  I wanted to go to the little Italian restaurant in town, but it was closed.  Every place we investigated was closed (our town rolls up on Sunday and Monday).  I told Eric all I wanted was some exceptionally good food and nice atmosphere and to relax with him for a while.  We decided to drive the extra 10 miles into Cameron Park and go to Sizzler there. I've not had a good experience with Sizzler since about 1994 when we left Lancaster, California (best Sizzler ever), so I was skeptical.  It always seems like not enough food for too much money.  I had a coupon (buy one get one free entree) so I figured that would make up the difference in what I figured the meal was worth.  Out of nowhere, a disclaimer manifested on my coupon that said it was good only in Anaheim, California (wtf?), so they rejected it and we paid full price.  Oh well, it's all good.  It's my birthday, after all.  We ended up having to wait to be seated after we paid and Eric had to go to the bathroom, so I as I was standing and waiting, I realized that what we'd been charged was just way too much, so I looked over the receipt and saw that the cashier had charged us for 2 of my meals and 1 of Eric's.  I brought it to her attention and she handed me $15 from the register to compensate.  We started on the salad bar, which was yummy and the waitress ended up bringing us our food very quickly (probably because of the wait to be seated) and surprise!  We got all three meals!  I had one of them packed to go right away and we feasted on the rest, which was absolutely delicious.  We took out time, going through many glasses of iced tea and talking a good bit.  As we left, I realized I'd actually gotten exactly what my coupon had offered.  I bought one and got one of exactly the same thing free.

After that, Eric and I went to Walmart.  My friend gave me a gift certificate and since Eric had surprised me with a 10 gallon aquarium two nights before, I figured I could stock it with the gift certificate.  Sadly, Walmart had a moratorium on fish sales because the fish in one tank had ick and the others had to be clear for a certain number of days before they could be sold.  I did get all of the innards for the aquarium and a few other things we needed.  We ambled back up the hill (me driving in order to not get sick).  When we got home, we got the kids into river clothes and went to sit at the river for a while, communing with nature, then after that, stopped off at the cemetery, one of my favorite places in Grizzly Flats.  The Committee just cleaned it out a few weeks ago and to show you what a cool town this is, they actually put silk flowers on every single grave in the cemetery and there are over 100.  They also made wooden stake markers engraved with "RIP" for the previously unmarked graves, so now there are about 20-25% more graves there, some that are just a mound of rocks, some that just have a tree over them.  It was a wonderful experience and always is.  I look forward to our group visit this year since Full Moon is only a week before Halloween (Samhain for us).  The energy will be very, very strong and I can't wait.  It's very much a sacred place.

When we left the graveyard, we came home and I made tacos for David, then a short while later, he went home.  It doesn't sound like much, but I got to have close contact with each of my children, even though Joe was by phone.  I got wonderful gifts, both for myself and from other people and I felt completely serene and happy the entire day.  It was glorious.

Today was a kick back day, even though we didn't expect it to be.  We had great plans to do this work and that work and ended up doing almost none of it.  I got my spoiler commentaries done and Eric cleaned the kitchen for me, bless him.  I have a mountain of clean laundry to fold and dinner to somehow orchestrate.  Eric is visiting with neighbors and I'm writing to you.  :)  I have about 60+ books to review over the next two weeks, so if you don't hear from me, I didn't die.  I'm just unearthing myself from the book mound.  My publishers are very, very good to me (and patient), so I want to reward them with a pile of book reviews completed.

Much love to you all,