Jan 10, 2008

My 50th Birthday Surprise Party & GIVEAWAY!

You might be scratching your head at this moment. Perhaps I can help... Yes, I am turning 50 on January 29th. Yes, I am throwing my own surprise party. Yes, I am hosting a GIVEAWAY. No, I have not lost my marbles. (I still have 2...) You see, unlike this little girl in the picture, I don't want to keep the goodies all to myself. Hence, I am hosting an online party with a Giveaway, and YOU will be posting the surprises!

First of all, there will be 2 prizes! Abby Kerr of Lettres from the Blissful, will be launching her new online shop, The Blissful, toward the end of February 2008. Abby is already the owner of a charming Canton, Ohio treasure trove called The Blissful, which offers an array of "French-Inspired Finds & Furnishings". I will be giving away a $25.00 GIFT CARD that can be used by phoning your order directly to Abby once the online shop is operative. If long distance charges are an issue, she might be able to handle the card-code and order via email. The second prize will be a $15.00 gift card to St. Arbucks (Starbucks). Entry guidelines are at the end of this post.

Let's peek into Abby's store:
[All images used are with the express permission of Abby Kerr at The Blissful. Unauthorized use is prohibited.]

  1. This Giveaway is more favorable to residents of the United States and Canada. Other countries are welcome to enter as long as the winner is willing to pay shipping expenses.
  3. You may post up to 3 comments and it must be contained under this heading. Anything beyond 3 posts will be disqualified.
  4. Since I love poetry, you will receive 2 entries for original poetry that is personalized for my 50th Birthday. Be sure to reference yourself as the author.
  5. I welcome referrals! You will receive one additional entry for each person that you refer to this Giveaway. They must mention your name in the post.
  6. The Deadline to post is: my birthday, January 29th, 2008 at Midnight PST.
If you live near Canton, Ohio I urge you to make a visit to The Blissful.

4605 Fulton Drive,

NW Canton, Ohio 44718
Tel 330.492.2500 Fax 330.492.2551

Also, there are more posts below pertaining to my 50th; including a "revealing" photo...

Jan 9, 2008

I have some mystery visitors...

Taken by my MOM!

I said that I would make this countdown to my 50th fun, so there have to be a few surprises
. Since placing a welcome mat at my blog door last June, there is something that I have never shared. It wasn't that I had anything to hide and I'm certainly not timid. No, not me. I don't recall a shy day in my life. I just needed the right moment and the right photo.

So, please welcome my visitors: my soon to be 8-year old son, Brock, and little ol' me. We had just performed in a large scale production for Catch the Vision—the performing arts studio where I teach Voice and Drama. Brock participated in tumbling and I sang with the band, having also directed the dramatic scenes.

I call Brock my smile maker. I had him when I was 42. He wasn't exactly on my To-Do List, but he was definitely on God's. I have so much fun with this playful pup!

Tomorrow, I will announce my 50th Birthday Surprise Party—all to take place online. I can't think of a better way to usher in a half century!

Jan 8, 2008

Back to Nature: Another Fiftyish Revelation

"Dinner Guests" by Marjolein Bastin

When last we chatted, you will remember my impassioned, hot-flashing solo of,
"I flit, I float, I fleetly flee! I fly," from The Sound of Music! You may also recall—thanks to the letter "F"—that I was feathering my nest in preparation for my upcoming 50th Birthday. Well, wouldn't it have been appropriate to have seen this feathered and furry menagerie [left] having breakfast on my patio this morning! Wild calling unto wild...

I was prompted to post this Marjolein Bastin print due to the inspiration of Rosemary at Roses Petite Maison. She was getting all fluttery about birds and nests which reminded me of something I just acknowledged about myself: I'm returning to my love of nature with great enthusiasm!

Lately, I find myself acquiring bird themed embroidery or knick-knacks, gorgeous seashells, weathered iron pine cone candle holders, nature prints and so on. Even my French decor is imbued with earthy tones.

At 19 years of age, after launching off on my own, there was an innovative shopping complex in Long Beach, California named Marina Pacifica. (
It's still there; however, its refurbished state bears little resemblance to its beginnings.) It was a woodsy maze of wonderfully individual shops, with sea breezes wafting through the wood posts and portals. The aromas from Cookie Muncher's Paradise would ride the breezes like surfers on waves. One shop was creatively devoted to nature and featured a wooden bridge that crossed over a small indoor pond. I purchased pottery, incense, candles, plants, handwoven baskets, and small natural wood boxes.

Although I derived a great deal of pleasure from bringing the earth indoors, my interests led me through a few detours in the following decades. I retained some of the "nature" theme while playing with other decorative trends. But, alas, nature began seeping through the cracks of my temporary diversions.

"Autumn Celebration" by Marjolein Bastin -

Jan 7, 2008

Fiftyish Frolic & Fanfare

1950's Department Store Ad -

As I approach my 50th Birthday . . . I'm feverishly finding features to feather
this nest with ex post facto, fiftyish frolic and fanfare! I've chosen the fitting and fashionable theme of 50—and trust me, I'm wearing 50. All of it! So, I begin to sing! "I flit, I float, I fleetly flee! I fly," until my current hot flash subsides . . . [This episode was brought to you by The Sound of Music and the letter "F"!]

Turning 50 and being born in the 50's is a novelty. As a baby boomer, I grew up in a culture that was shifting faster than the earthquake related tectonic plates of California! For example, in my lifetime, recorded music segued from rpm's of 78, 33, and 45, to 8-track and cassette tapes, CD's, and now digital. In my formative years, I went from fluffy little party dresses and glossy black patent leather shoes to baggy corduroy pants, Hang Ten shirts, and Wallabies!

In my first decade, I watched the domestic roles of women almost do an about face. It's no wonder that males looked a bit wobbly! Today, I don't see many
real life Bree Van De Kamp's (Desperate Housewives), but she must have studied from the excerpt below: "How to be a Good Wife."

Taken from a 1950's American High School Home Economics textbook, the essay is entitled "How to be a Good Wife." It reads in part:

Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. Clear away the clutter -- run a dust cloth over the tables.

Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are God's creatures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise…eliminate the noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Some Don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.

Listen to him: You may have dozens of things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other pleasant entertainments.


Guess who has a Birthday this month—and it's a DOOZY! On January 29th, yours truly will become a half-century young! (Does the half-full, half-empty principle apply here?) Yes, I will be f-f-f-fifty. 50! A pentagenarian! There, I've said it.

I do hope that you will party with me! Stay tuned for ALL of the juicy details!

NOTE: Don't forget to enter Judy Hartman's wonderful Giveaway! It's one post down.