Looking for answers to life's questions

There has been so much going on that I almost can’t remember it all. The last two weeks of August and the first weeks of September were so packed that I slept a lot of last weeks trying to get my bearings.

My son (TS, tech support) came from Arizona to bring my daughter his car. They had three older cars in the driveway and his was not used except for long trips. It seemed logical to have my daughter pay her brother a reasonable amount each month instead of a bank. They both win. He will eventually get something more suited to his snow-covered mountain area. She will have AC in the summer and back warmers in winter, something she has been without for almost 10 years now.

My son took me for birthday lunch at my favorite German restaurant where we ate lightly, so we had room for my favorite birthday dessert. Yes, I had it twice this year. Then we proceeded to work it off in the back yard. He bought me a yard of ¾” rock for my birthday and unloaded it from my sister’s pickup. I helped by directing. We moved the landscape logs and added more so he could complete his vision for my back yard. He loves to move things around. Last time it was all the furniture.

TS shoveled it all.

He worked on my daughter’s old car finding that what the mechanics had said was wrong with it, was not. When I took mine in for an oil change, they told me the water pump was leaking and plugs and wires needed to be replaced. I had a new engine put in four years ago and all of that was done then. He called them on it and they verified it. We are looking for a new mechanic but I think it will always be the same story. My daughter needed the hinge on her old car door fixed. He broke the windshield but he fixed the door. I love that kid. Then he anchored an upright post the roofers failed to do. Does anyone need a lazy kid? Let me know if you find one. He’s not it.

Since my birthday fell on Labor Day weekend, my daughter and I had three days to celebrate. On Saturday we drove 30 minutes to the Swan Island Dahlia Farm for their yearly open house. This was my first visit since moving here. I had to share a few of the hundreds of varieties they grow. Can you find the bunnies in the mix?

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Sunday was breakfast at Bread and Ink downtown and then on to the Chinese Gardens for a little walk around and tea. Then to our favorite metaphysical bookstore, New Renaissance. They had a porch sale!

Three food groups, maybe? Waffle, fruit and whip cream.

A late lunch/dinner was at the Ram where I got my free birthday ice cream mudslide pie slice. Most of my dinner came home with me for later. Ice cream pie won’t keep.

Ice cream and hot fudge has to be shared.

Monday my sister joined us and bought lunch and dessert at Papa Haydn’s. If you ever get to Portland and have a sweet tooth, they have two locations and both have criminal desserts.

My sister also bought me a half yard of rock to fill in what the first yard did not. My daughter pulled a lot  out  with a hoe. Then the three of us pulled the canvas cloth off the plastic one onto the driveway. The guys at the landscape yard thought this was genius as it worked when they loaded the wrong size in the truck and I took it back for the right size. I was not going to settle for something that wouldn’t work for me.  It only took me one morning to get it all moved to the back yard. I ask for odd things for my birthdays. I’m a very practical Virgo.

Flowers from a very kind friend

Tuesday, I went on a diet that will last till my daughter’s birthday in April. I’ll pass on the holiday goodies this year. Birthdays are more important to me. I want another one..

I had another adventure this last week I’ll tell you about next time. Do you prioritize birthdays over holidays?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

Comments on: "The Rest of the Story" (60)

  1. The yard work looks Great! Send him over here to New England. The yummies looked terrific too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The poor guy never gets to rest when he visits me. 😦 It was his idea so I let him execute it as he saw fit. I love how it turned out too. Anytime you are in Portland, I’d be happy to show you where the dessert is after April. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Lou.

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  2. Your son is multi-talented!!! Happy Birthday, Marlene!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Marlene – I would say your family really spoiled you for your birthday! Yeah! I love how they gave you rocks. I’ll often ask for dirt, plants and recently rocks as we’ve been creating our yard. Happiest of belated birthdays to you, my friend! 🎂🎉😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now I’m just REALLY hungry!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marlene I love that photo of you looking fondly at one of your fabulous desserts. You guys sure know how to do the sugar loading 😀 It’s a good idea though to do the avoidance technique for the next six months – if you can, no pressure! TS (Top Son) sure knows how to keep his family happy and letting him have his head in the landscaping department sounds like a genius idea to me. Glad Heather has a decent car again too! Now we are at that gentler time of year when we are softly sliding seasons, me to warmer, you to cooler, we can find life a little easier yes? It seems to me that the seasonal issues I’ve always found challenging just intensify over time so one has to just get through as best I can and wait for the respite to come – is it the same for you? I’m looking forward to Christmas as my girls will be with me again and also I’m hoping my oldest friend will be able to join us. But birthdays are good too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t had anything like that since my daughter’s birthday last year. This year was quite unusual and since you can’t count on next year I indulged but have dropped 6 pounds since. I will not give up until next April. I wasn’t expecting my son so it was a lovely surprise and extra birthday celebration. I agree with you on the seasons. The weather has been kinder to us this year though. We are grateful. I’m glad you will have your girls this year. I haven’t thought that far yet. 😉 Let’s keep having birthdays. 😉 Hugs and love, M

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your son is certainly a worker bee, Marlene. What a great photo of you with your ice cream pie. You look so pretty! I’m so happy you had a nice birthday…you deserve it! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow Marlene! You have been busy! The desserts look incredible! I’m glad you had such a wonderful time with your son visiting and helping with some of the hard work around the yard. The new car looks great and will surely transport your daughter around! I’m surprised about the mechanics though. I’ve used them for 15 years and they did all the work on our 2000 Ho da and 2002 Toyota. We’ve never had any issues with them about anything. I am sorry for your experience and feel badly for recommending them to you.
    Swan Island Dalia Farm looks beautiful! It’s been on my radar for years! Next season I’ll make a concerted effort to stop by there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy late birthday Marlene! The backyard is turning out well. So nice to have a good gravel path to walk on. So much to see in this post. I tried to focus on the bunnies rather than the desserts 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make me laugh, Deb. The bunnies were so sweet and they are therapy bunnies. The lady takes them to all kinds of places for people who need fuzzy loving. They just can’t compare to the meringue dessert. Decadent. I get one in April for my daughter’s birthday and then not again until I have another birthday. 🙂 Thanks for the birthday wishes and for stopping by. Have a good week.

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  9. What a lovely celebration you’ve had. But you’re right, desserts like that are for special occasions only, and I quite understand you needing to steer clear of them so you can get another celebration in later on. You have good children, Marlene. Love your work…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Kate. They aren’t special if you have them often. April and Sept only. I won the lottery when it comes to children. We love and respect each other and I think that was key. Along with strong boundaries. Those go both ways.

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  10. Gosh, you have been busy, and those cakes…. they looked huge – definitely shareable. Yes, birthdays are a top priority, and every one must be celebrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you feel that way, Chris. Most don’t realize that the next one is not a given and each should be cherished. I never need stuff, just the celebrating another birthday. Of course I celebrate each day but not with cake necessarily. Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Alles gute zum geburtstag!!

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  12. Those desserts look amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You and I are both September babies and you have awesome children because you are an awesome mom. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. TheY’ll have been busy, Marlene but you are looking so well. The garden is coming along. I love the contrast of the rocks and the soil with the plants.
    Criminal desserts- my goodness they look so good. I would go for the Dolce one!!
    Prioritize birthdays you ask? We used to. But my kids don’t want a lot of fuss now and I have learnt to let that all go. Maybe they will change in time. I can be satisfied that I went all out when they were young and gave them birthdays to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Baccone Dolce is my all time favorite. I hope I get to have it again next September. 😉 I was blaze’ about birthdays until my first husband died at 42. It woke my kids up too. Every day is a gift to us now. We don’t take them for granted anymore. They don’t need to be fancy or expensive.. Rocks were $40 a yard. A big deal to me. No glitz or glamour. My kids had cake and a present when they were young. It’s not much different now but we make a big deal out of cake and a present. Now it’s a slice of VERY good cake. 😉 Hope your kids rethink the birthday thing.. They are not guaranteed.

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      • That is true, Marlene! The next day is never guaranteed. My kids are still at that invincible thinking stage where they don’t consider the long term future as anything less than expected .
        I like your idea of a very good cake. That in itself is a treat. That is what we do or did for the MOTH’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, you’ve been so busy! Happy birthday, Marlene!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I salute your approach to cake. Very inspiring! Clearly you had a marvellous birthday xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy birthday, all the cake looks amazing. The garden is looking good, you have a really nice family.

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  18. Wow, Marlene! No wonder you’re exhausted. That’s a lot of yard work, local travel, entertaining and dare I say it, eating! Oh my goodness those desserts. They’re works of art and they look delectable. I’m glad your daughter has a new and improved car and that TS will receive payments in return. Everyone wins! I love that you asked for gravel for your birthday. I’ve done that sort of thing before. It’s usually garden plants and mulch on my list. I admire your hard work. Moving around gravel is a workout. I hope the weather is cooler. I hope you start to feel rested and refreshed. Best of luck with the start of your diet. I’m right there with you, trying to lose 12 pounds, the four that I regained and then some. Sending a big hug your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the hugs and kind words. I’ve only dropped a few in the last couple of weeks but working hard at losing the weight. The rain stopped so I could walk again today. Yesterday, I walked the mall. We’ve had more rain this year than in the last 7 for this time of year. Loving it but it does slow down progress. If you get a chance to come back up, I’ll definitely take you to Papa Haydn’s and we will eat nothing else. 😉 Playing in the yard has been wonderful. My daughter has already sent off her first payment after paying for his plane ticket, gas and motel. If I thought for a minute she wouldn’t do it, I would have not suggested it but I know she is honorable. It’s still in his name till it’s paid off. 😉

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  19. Things never seem to slow down in your world, Marlene! Yikes–so much work being done–it’s wonderful that you have good (strong!) helpers! All those photos of cake had me smiling until I go to the one of the German chocolate and that stopped me in my tracks–I LOVE that kind for cake. I’m so pleased you had a wonderful birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Kerry. My son gets here a couple of times a year and we make the most of the occasion. German chocolate is his favorite too and this one was better than any I’ve had since his wedding years ago. A German bakery made them a 3 tiered German chocolate cake that was on par to this one. I got one bite. 😉 And the work will continue when the rain stops…without help. ;(

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  20. It was good to get a catch-up on all of your doings! The dahlia photos are beautiful. Seeing them spread out in all their glory must have been wonderful. I would have been too tempted to buy.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Happy belated birth day! Sounds like you had the best celebrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Happy Belated Birthday, Marlene! Family celebrations are the best! Gifts of helping and time are so kind and generous. They really touch my heart, too! Keep celebrating just how special you are, Marlene!💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Dawn. I was so happy my son was able to come visit for almost 2 weeks an celebrate a little early with us. Help is a gift you don’t have to dust or find a place on the shelf for. You get to see the results daily. My favorite kind of gift. Have a wonderfilled week ahead, Dawn.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. What a lot of wonderful things going on! I can’t believe TS raked all that stone and mulch, put in the edge… on and on. Definitely a win-win on the car, too. And those cakes?? Yum! Best to you, Darlene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jennie. He also had Tech Support work to do in his spare time. The Angels kissed him on both cheeks when he was born. 😉
      Those cakes are criminal. Twice a year we get them. My birthday and my daughter’s birthday. Way too special for everyday. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “The angels kissed him on both cheeks when he was born.” Oh, my goodness! That is wonderful. TS was blessed! And on the flip side, “Those cakes were criminal.” Oh, they must have been. Wish I’d been there 🙂. Always a pleasure (understatement) when I visit your blog, Marlene.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Marlene, what a wonderful update. So funny how you started out saying you could barely remember all that had gone on, but you sure remembered all those cakes! hahaha They really look special and delicious. I haven’t had cake in a long time. We don’t make it any more for celebrations because of my husband’s celiac (can’t eat gluten), but I really need to come up with something he CAN eat that is still light enough to be considered cake. The cake they sell at the store that is gluten free is nasty. So happy your daughter got that beautiful new car, and that you had delightful adventures, too. I loved reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Luanne. The Boccone Dolce would be the perfect “cake” for your husband then as it’s not cake. It’s strictly egg white meringue with whipped cream and fruit. A good Italian bakery can make it or you can try it on your own. I noticed a YouTube video on it. I do have a way of remembering the really important stuff (cakes) and letting my mind get lost there. 😉 Her brother had the 2013 VW which was a whole generation ahead of 1997 Oldsmobile. She’s happy and he’s looking at something that suits him better for now. Men and their cars!! She loves the car. Not the payments so much but they are less than a financed car. 😉

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      • I just looked up that cake. OHHHH, I did not need to know this. It looks so GOOD! Unfortunately, it won’t really work for him. We have a dessert crisis at our house. First of all, he likes a lot of sweets after dinner, just when his digestion is at its worst. But what makes him sickest besides gluten? many dessert ingredients! Lactose, chocolate, fruit, citrus. (He can eat some of this stuff mid-day, but he doesn’t like to eat mid-day). So no more fruit pies, no chocolate desserts (although tiny amounts of chocolate, like chips, are ok), no cheesecake, no cream pies, no ice cream. However, he CAN eat my daughter’s gluten free lemon bars. But they are too hard for me to make, so he gets those for holidays. He can eat cakes make from ground nuts, but then they are too heavy and they give him a tummy ache eaten in the evening. chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies seem ok. Some frozen almond desserts. Isn’t this BORING?!
        So happy the car situation worked out for your kids!

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      • I am so sorry your husband is struggling with that. It baffles the mind what can cause such things. I’m counting my blessings here.

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      • It’s darn weird, is what it is. So many strange illnesses and conditions out there, and they make no sense.

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  25. I DID spot the bunnies!! How adorable. I am surprised they are calm enough to stay in the basket. Bread and Ink is a great place to eat, but my fave breakfast place is Cup & Saucer, half a block away. I think I’ve already said this. Hawthorne Street really has some wonderful food choices.

    I love what TS did to your back yard. It’s so beautiful I can’t even remember what it was before. Was that all dirt? And you must have had to weed it all the time. Oy. Your family treated you right for you birthday and you deserve it. What incredible desserts!! No wonder you’re going on a dessert diet over the winter!! Tara visited over the weekend and made an apple tart with apples from my tree. I decided to make something with my Oregon grapes because the bushes beside my driveway are loaded with berries this year. I made an Oregon grape-lemon-lavender custard tart and oh my gosh it was to die for. At Tara’s suggestion, I ground up the lavender buds and rolled them into the crust – amazing. That’s what I had for breakfast today too, ha ha!

    I’m with you, birthdays are the best holidays of the year. I would skip some holidays for a birthday if I had too. Maybe even Halloween, my favourite. Hmmm…no, I don’t think so. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make me laugh. My daughter wouldn’t give up Halloween either. Her very favorite holiday. She always takes her birthday off work. I like the idea of rolling lavender into the crust! 😉 I asked H about Cup and Saucer and she likes it too but prefers Bread and Ink. The back yard was bark dust on top of weed block. I put a fresh batch on this year and the weeding is minimal with a little squirt of vinegar if I get too many. Hugs and love.

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