Sunday, June 14, 2015

My 70th Extravaganza

First of all, it didn't start on my actual birthday, which was yesterday.

It started almost a month ago when I began to color again,
wanting to get back into that rhythm for my new decade.
Interestingly, on my birthday yesterday someone sent me this link on Facebook:
"It's official--grown-up colouring keeps you calm!"
I can so agree.

And since friends know this about me, look at one of my gifts received from England last week.
It's only 5"x7," making it a great travel book.
Thank you, Anne and Quinn!

Another English friend, Bill, custom made this card for me.
Bill and Ange were here with us two years ago, in June.
We're both Gemini.  :)

Then, surprise of surprise, a package arrived from sister Ruth 
with these 2 placemats and matching napkins.
She had already shown them on her blog, which I had seen,
little knowing they were for ME.  What a sneak!
(In fact, I clept these images from there.)

Remember, it wasn't even my birthday yet!
On Thursday, I gave myself the gift of eating at our nearby Malle Molen (Silly Mill).
Every Thursday evening they have "what the pot serves" for €7.75, including dessert.
A long story short, Astrid finagled with them to serve one of my favorites of theirs:
chicken with cream cheese and bacon.  How could I say NO to that.

 On my actual birthday, yesterday, I opened the laptop to this.
I don't remember that they've ever done this before.  Have they????
But then, Microsoft did just buy Facebook, right?!
Big Brother is watching me!

At 2p we went to Jeroen and Eva's for supposedly only birthday koffie and Astrid's famous appeltaart.
But it ended up becoming a BBQ, along with Astrid's ex, Jaap, and Eva's parents.
6.5 hours of birthday celebration.
It so happens that Eva's 25th birthday was 2 days before mine.
Another Gemini.

It was a perfect day for eating outside and taking photos.
Jeroen and Eva have been together since 2009, like Astrid and I.
And they bought me new felt pens for my coloring!

 Their cat, Mitzie, was her own person, at 11 years, doing her own thing.
The life of Riley, showing us how it's done!

This morning, the day after, I lined up all my cards thus far,
and the Kopke port that Jaap gave me for the occasion.

 And then this early evening, Astrid pulled out all the stops and treated me to a dinner outing
at our favorite Greek restaurant overlooking our city's main canal.
Orestis (top-left) is the host with the most, young and industrious,
the one who bought the flowers for the grand occasion.
He knew it was my 70th from previous planning with Astrid.
And our favorite waitress (bottom-right) knew exactly how to make everything just right.

Together, the 3 of them planned a 4-course dinner for us.
They didn't know that leg of lamb is pure bliss for me,
as well as stuffed sea bass, both of which Astrid and I shared.
And for dessert, obligatory baklava with ice cream!

Happy Birthday to moi!

And now this from my Big Sis in England, Lisl, making 70 sound like a good number.
Tomorrow I fly to England to spend the week with her and Michael in Bath,
with Astrid joining us on Wednesday.
It's my birthday gift to me!

That's why I've called this big number an extravaganza!
A gift that just keeps on giving....


  1. Your certainly have been spoiled Ginnie – custom made cards, one of a kind place mats by an artist, sweets, flowers, dinners, accolades, Google acknowledging the event, and to crown it all – now a trip! Your birthday was a trip too! Coloring books – my husband’s memory doctor at Emory said that coloring adult books keeps the brain healthy and young – no wonder you have so much energy; years do not add anything to you, maybe just more fun. I’ll add my best wishes – Joyeux Anniversaire chère Ginnie! Bises, VB

    1. You have totally made my day, Vagabonde. My day, my 70th, my life. I love the way you've said it all. Thank you. I feel truly blessed beyond words.

  2. What a fun multi-day celebration!!!!!!!

    1. And as daughter Amy says, it'll continue on into October when we see them next in Atlanta. How lucky is that! :)

  3. You only will be 70 once. It is a delight to watch your happiness. A lot of people are happy with you and show that. All these unexpected things that happen are great. Enjoy life at the utmost, something I don't have to tell you for we both do. Orestis is the perfect host when it comes to feeling at home at his restaurant. Happy and safe travels and I will join you in a few days.
    Great pictures adding to the memory to keep. Thank you for taking time to make these posts. IHVJ

    1. You are so central to all this joy and happiness, dear Astrid, for which I thank you profusely, as you know. You're right: 70 happens only once. It couldn't have been a better celebration in any way!

  4. I love what Vagabonde said, that years do not add anything to you, except fun. Yes! These celebrations make ME happy, and isn't that just like you! Always thinking of others. It has been wonderful to see how you've taken stock of your life these last days. It is a very good one, though it has not always been a piece of cake. But you, my dear, make it all look easy in that young way of yours.

    1. You sure know how to butter me up good and easy, dear sister. HA! Well, you're one of the only ones who's been with me over the years through thick and thin, for which I thank you with my heart and soul. I look back on it all and, strangely, it does seem like a piece of cake. Hmmm. Most interesting in retrospect.

  5. Truly a birthday that just keeps giving! As it should! I know you're enjoying your time in England, lucky girl!!

    1. Daughter Amy says it'll continue on into October when we visit them in Atlanta, so it truly is a birthday that keeps on giving. How fun, Robin. I'm delighted you've been alongside of my journey these past years. THANK YOU.

  6. Looks like a wonderful celebration so far! Now you're in England and the celebration continues. Thanks, as always, for sharing the photos. Always nice to see the places/people you've mentioned. (Also, the food looks amazing!) Keep on keeping on!

    1. Thank you, dear Amykins! And next up is Nicholas' visit here soon to continue the celebration. And then October to see YOU in Atlanta. It's a gift that keeps on giving. I love you.

  7. What a wonderful extravaganza and I am glad you had such wonderful celebrations...

    1. Thank you, dear Donna. It's been a milestone birthday for me in every possible way.