Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I Spy With My Little Eye...

I celebrated a birthday this week. JB told me a week ago to leave all day and night Monday open. I knew that meant she made special plans. She scattered mysterious envelopes around the house and one by one I discovered we would walk out the door and not return for a fun filled twelve hours. This was an absolute act of love and I knew it.

On this day I was also given gifts in plain sight. All I had to do was look:

Last weekend Mr. Ryan saw an audio greeting card at the grocery store and wanted it badly. There were four superheroes inside, each mumbling a happy birthday in some macho way. I told Ryan I would buy him this card for my birthday.

"No Gram! I don't get a present for YOUR birthday!"

"Yes you do, Ryan. I'm sending you this card for my birthday."

When the card was ready to mail, I told him it would arrive in a yellow envelope. He was so excited he asked his Mother if he could wear a matching yellow shirt when it arrived.

I sent his brother Drew a card too: monkeys who turn into kittens and meow the entire verse of 'happy birthday to you". I have decided from now on I am going to give the boys a present every year for my birthday.

Made by my Grandfather. I can feel his energy in the cement.

I planted this climbing hydrangea two years ago and it has rewarded me with wide spreading vines and delicate pink flowers. I find this amazing.

When I die, I'd like to be remembered with pink zinnias. They are my favorite of all flowers. Lately my dog Stella tries to eat them and I knock knock on the kitchen window shooing her away. I consider myself the temporary guardian of the zinnia patch.

It was a mess of weeds and now it is a neat space of orderly mulch. With an obvious exception, this is the area in the back of my house that I use as a holding area for plants I don't know what to do with yet. I live in a valley and my yard is one third of what used to be a working farm. The soil is unbelievably rich. Things GROW here, even me.

One lonely tomato from the garden for my birthday. I just said things grow but not my tomatoes this year. I can't say why, but it might be the lack of attention while I have been gallivanting in Provincetown. In any case, eating this tomato, salted, was.....orgasmic :^)

And finally, every year I get a sign from my Father. He died twelve years ago but he never fails to assure a flower or plant growing where there should not be one. This year, on my birthday, he sent a chipmunk. We share the yard with a very active family of chipmunks. They scurry from one place to another all day. One day I came home to find one on the kitchen steps holding a cherry tomato with both paws and chomping away. It was a sight that will make me smile always. But this year a chipmunk appeared at the kitchen window and turned straight to me when I appeared. Eye to eye. For a long time.

And then, when I went outside, there he/she was again, greeting me again, staring head on for as long as I stared back. Not a usual occurrence by any means, and I actually think related to my Dad's way of wishing me a good day.

I had a good birthday. I am very thankful, very grateful, very hopeful.

The world is a mess, that's for sure. But I have a small world too, and this week it offered me its very best.




  1. a belated happy birthday...and that lonely tomato is so cute :)

  2. A wonderful post. It made me smile. Please stay that positive, Karen, in this new year of your life. My sincere congratulations and many happy returns of the day. An oldfashioned expression I read somewhere :-)

  3. Well that's delightful and I'm glad you had a visitation from Dad. I'm hoping for one also...we'll see.

    HAPPY HAPPY Birthday dear KJ!!!

  4. Happy Birthday to another Leo queen, we share the throne of Leo with joy and rejoice in the fact that us, the Lioness are the ones who roar but cuddle kittens.

  5. This post delighted me so. You deserved a beautiful birthday and you got one. Love most the chipmunk and think he/she absolutely was sent to you by your father. My mother sends me butterflies, which means I do not have them in late autumn and winter, which means I must "Be Still" (something she urged me to do in my life) and wait for them.

    I am so happy we are friends, birthday girl!

  6. Happy Birthday! JB is a keeper :-).
    Love that you dad said hi :-).xoxo

  7. Ah, there's the little chipmunk you mentioned! And I really like that birdbath.

    Again, Happy Birthday!!! ♥

  8. happy birthday. so sweet to send the little guys cards on your birthday. !! and mr chipmunk....well too darling.

  9. It was indeed a perfect birthday! What could be better than being surrounded by LOVE - in all it's forms...

    Love the Chipmunk! What a face!

    Enjoy your upcoming artsy time with *da Girls*!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  10. i don't know kj. what you said about having a small world makes me want to weep. with joy. that is so goshdarned gorgeous and so freaking true. our big world is churning away as it must do, so let's all of us treasure our small worlds.

    happy birthday kj. you truly are surrounded by love. in your small gorgeous world.



  11. I am so happy for you that a lot of little things turned your day in a hugh birthday. We all love you dear love that sign of your dad :)
    hearts M

  12. Well Happy happy birthday and I love the idea of giving your grandkids cards on YOUR birthday.
    Sweet way of keeping them connected. Sweet dad stories here too.

  13. Well Happy happy birthday and I love the idea of giving your grandkids cards on YOUR birthday.
    Sweet way of keeping them connected. Sweet dad stories here too.

  14. A belated happy birthday.. these are bleak days, and ur post made me smile for a while .. BIG thing :-) God Bless KJ.. and heres a BIG hug for u..

  15. How did I miss your day? Well, happy belated birthday, my friend. I think we are all very grateful for our little private worlds, where things still make sense. I love giving gifts for my birthday. I extra love that you sent those cards, kj. :)) xox Pam

  16. Happy (belated) Birthday!!!! I so believe in signs. And how fun when they are of the furry kind.

  17. Happy, happy birthday, kj! So much feeling, friendship, kindness, love. How great even your father and grandfather made their presences felt! Love is in the recognition of it...

  18. And here I am,,,the last I'm sure, to say Happy, Happy Birthday.
    I didn't know!

    This is a post of many wonderful gifts:
    matching yellow shirt
    energy in cement
    knock knock zinnias
    birthday tomato
    eye to eye chipmunk & dad
    and JB
    I'd say that's love,
    yessiree, I would!

  19. Why, KJ, why???
    That enormous headerpicture of those candles? What is your meaning? :-)))

  20. oh dear, i was sure SURE i left a message here! that is me lately, running around with my head in the clouds!

    lovely birthday post dear kj, your dad sure visits you in a cute way. i love that. enjoy these wonderful summer days!!

    (and to have your grandpas birdbath, sigh...)