This weekend, I celebrated my 46th birthday. Celebrated might be the wrong word. Maybe “made note of” or “observed the passing of” would be more accurate. Not that I get bummed out about getting another year older. I don’t. I’m actually one of those weirdos who gets excited and happy about being a year older. I think it’s awesome I’ve been on this planet for 46 years and have clear memories of life on Earth that go all the way back to when I was four years old in 1969. The world has changed a lot in my lifetime, and it feels like an accomplishment to still be here taking part in it all. LOL!
Things didn’t go quite as planned for my birthday. The universe decided the thing I most needed for my birthday was a break in my menopausal state after two years of of not feeling like utter and complete crap one week a month. Seriously, is that the best the universe could come up with for a gift?! Making me a bloated, crampy, hormonally induced emotional wreck with a migraine and a face full of zits?! Thanks, universe. That was just what I wanted … NOT! Could it at least have waited until after my birthday? Grrr.
We’d had a pretty low-key day planned anyway though. When I have been working on some creative project for a while and then it’s over, there’s always a few days of total downtime during which I let go of that project, clear my head for the next, and catch up on mental rest. Even something as simple as knitting a tree sweater requires the downtime. I focus intensely on all creative projects, and they rattle around in my brain during the entire time they are in progress, even when I am not actively working on them. It doesn’t feel draining at the time, but once the thing is declared finished and the studio area cleared for the next project, I feel it. Since my birthday was going to fall during this downtime, I decided I just wanted to go hang out with my mom and go eat out and just sit around her house chatting.
So that’s what we did. To be honest, I didn’t even feel like doing that much, but I didn’t want to call off the plans either. I’d been looking forward to my low-key plans and the trip to Mom’s! We got there a little later than usual, because I was moving at a snail’s pace, so by the time we arrived at her house, we were all starving and needed to eat. The usual eating places were brought up as suggestions for the birthday brunch, but I really wanted to go somewhere new and different. With it being a Sunday, all the usual places would have been packed with locals getting out of church anyway. These places are the “usual places” because all the locals go to them. I didn’t want to wait an hour to get a table, and well, I like trying new places!
I looked through the Fritztown visitor’s guide, picked a place I’d never heard of that was just around the corner from Mom’s house, and then checked it out on Yelp. Yelp gave it fabulous reviews, so off we went to Sunset Grill. All I can say is that Yelp did not lie. It’s a tiny little bistro with world class cuisine at affordable prices. The three of us had mimosas, appetizers, and giant plates of incredible well-prepared food for under $50. It reminded me a lot of some of the really trendy (and pricier) places in Austin, and I will be eating there again in the future. It’s been added to the list of “usual places” for me.
I had orginally ordered Crab Cake Benedict, but they ran out of crab cakes. I was only mildly disappointed when the owner came out to inform me of this. He suggested the Smoked Salmon Benedict instead, and that had been my second choice anyway.
English muffins layered with West Coast Smoked Salmon, poached eggs, cream cheese, chopped red onions and capers and finished with our herb infused hollandaise. Your choice or either hash browns or home fries.
I kid you not, it was the best meal I have eaten in a restaurant in ages. Simply sublime. An almost transcendental dining experience. Every mouthful a delight. It was, in a word, perfectly prepared. I don’t often go on about meals in restaurants, but this one was worth going crazy over. If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Sunset Grill, you have GOT to eat there! It’s off the main drag enough that only the smartest tourists will find it too, which is always a bonus. I’m sure eventually it will become a madhouse one has to wait an hour to get a table in, but for now, it’s still an out-of-the-way and somewhat hidden gem.
So the meal went well, and we were all so stuffed from the HUGE plates of tasty food, we decided to just go back to the house and sit around being lazy. That had sort of been my plan anyway, since I was feeling poorly, so that worked out well. First we got down to the present opening. I hadn’t given my mom any clues as to what to get me, because I really don’t have any needs or wants right now. I’d have been fine with her not getting me anything (which is what I told her), but she can’t let a gift-giving event pass without some kind of gift. Amazingly, she gave me something I had actually been fondling in the store the other day and considering buying: a collapsible wire colander useful for all manner of kitchen duties. Mom thought it was a stupid gift, but I assured her it wasn’t. I’d have likely bought it myself next week when I do the shopping, because it had caught my eye and look really, really useful.
She also passed on to me a necklace and earring set her mom (Mam’O, my grandmother) had given her when she turned seventeen. I remember seeing it in my mom’s jewelry box when I was a little kid, and it was one of those things she never even let me touch. It’s a nice heavy cut glass choker with matching slip-on earrings, and I look forward to wearing it on special occasions. So lovely and so old and precious with a lot of family history behind it. I’m really pleased to have it, and I can’t wait to find excuses to wear it.
The only disappointment on my birthday was the lack of a birthday cake. This would be the first year ever without one, and I suppose I really have no one to blame but myself. For later reference, when I say “No, no, don’t bother making a cake. It’ll be such a fuss.” this must be run through the Middle-Aged Jewess filter. It will translate directly into “My gods, how can there be a birthday without a cake! Of course there has to be a cake!!!” But like I said, my own damn fault for not saying what I mean and just expecting people to read my mind. In the end, it wasn’t totally horrible not having a cake, because I ate so much at brunch, I wasn’t hungry until the next day anyway. But still … no cake. Wah! LOL!
The entire rest of the day was just sitting and talking (and Lin did some snoozing). I don’t even know what all we talked about. All manner of things! No politics for religion though, because I’d informed everyone that was forbidden on my birthday. A lot of the talk was about art … and my dad … and a little of the plans to move my mom to Austin. All in all, just a really relaxed day. That was really what I needed and wanted, and that’s what I got, so it was a very nice birthday.
Then we drove home and got back to doing my post-project vegetating, and I continued that all day yesterday. Don’t even ask me what I did yesterday, because I have no idea. I slept late, ate lunch, and ran to the store for a couple of things. Other than that, I don’t recall doing anything at all. I suspect I mostly sat on the couch staring at the TV without really watching it and snoozing. Yes, when I turn my brain off, I really turn my brain off. It always amazes me how an entire day can go by without me doing anything that I remember doing. It’s really refreshing though, and it’s sometimes necessary. I slept late again today, but I’m starting to feel like I have caught up on resting both brain and body, and I’m also starting to feel a little better. I imagine by tomorrow I’ll be back running at full-steam-ahead and getting on with the next art project. Right after I do a ton of housework. I’ve been ignoring the housework just a wee bit too much, and boy, does it show!
But I’m going to give myself the rest of today to be a total brain-dead bum, because I deserve it (and probably need it). After I hit the post button on this, my first order of business is a nice cup of coffee, and then I’m going to pick out which video game Lin is going to give me for my birthday. He said he wanted to get me one, but he wasn’t sure which, so it’s better for me to just pick it out (since I’m picky about games). After that … nothing but more vegetating and laziness is on the agenda!