Thursday, July 22, 2010

sap moss, cake, altars and friends

It was a good birthday after all.  Thank you for the many well wishes here and on Facebook. The novel winner is announced at the end of this post.

Once centered, I left the house, got iced coffee and stopped in at the vitamin shop.  I had decided to try an organic, SLS free shampoo. You may not know this about me, but I’m fairly health conscious. (Note: I said fairly.) I choke back fish oil supplements with my decaf ice coffee, or with my protein smoothies. I could tell you what for, and why you don’t want to buy any ole fish oil supplement brand, but that’d be a whole other post and I’m getting off on a major tangent here as it is.  Let me just note that that I come by this honestly … all the primary women in my life – my mother Barbara, my mother-in-law Barbara, and my mentor-mom Connie – all take vitamins, and take them seriously.

So back to the vitamin shop, I stood there a good 15 minutes smelling the organic shampoos.  That is after I picked myself back up off the floor.  I nearly fainted at the prices.  Suave this is not. They all smelled like sap moss to me. But I picked one – because you can buy stuff guilt-free on your birthday. I also got a pot-o-chewing-gum made of xylitol (another post maybe). Then headed for the bookstore.

Bookstores always make me happy.  Always. You do have something in your life that reliably makes you happy, don’t you?  Every girl must.  So I browsed awhile but I already knew what I would buy: a book I skimmed in the store months ago but didn’t purchase and never forgot.  I don’t know if I’ll agree with all her theology but I know her writing is skillful and memorable.  While browsing, I also came across a cute pill box that would be perfect for carrying my new gum in my purse.  (Because who wants to lug about a 100 piece pot of  a gum called SPRY?)

Here’s my birthday purchases, minus the shampoo which is now in my gym bag:

b-day 2010 005


I hit the gym, lingered in the steam room, then headed home. Coming through the door I was met with a wave of fresh bakery smell.  My daughter was making me a birthday cake!  Chocolate!  (Remember I said fairly health conscious.)


b-day 2010 003      b-day 2010 002

My hubby was outside finishing the patio he’s building us out back.  We’d already decided I would go out with the girls that evening because my good friend Marybeth Whalen was in town for a book signing.  You do know that every author dreads book signing, right?  There’s always the fear that no one will show up for it.  So I was making sure that didn’t happen to Marybeth.

Dori, Katie, Connie and I met Marybeth at the Pomegranate bookstore (we were not the only ones who showed). It was fun listening to her read from The Mailbox and answer questions about her writing life. To my surprise, before we left, Connie picked out and bought the exact same book I’d bought that afternoon: An Alter in This World.  Apparently, we’re on the same vitamin-drenched wave length.

Four of us went to dinner/dessert afterward and then Marybeth and I sat talking outside the restaurant until midnight. That wasn’t planned – it’s just so rare that we get to see each other. Plus it’s just so hard for us to shut up once we get going! Kindred friends are such a treasure.

I came home to find Rick sleepily waiting up for me. We chatted a bit and then I crawled into bed next to him. He whispered “Happy Birthday” with the voice that matters most to me. 

With that I sat into the boat of my heart and drifted contently off to sleep.

This birthday wasn’t so bad after all.

*The randomly chosen winner of the novel is: NoodlesMeeMaw. (I’m pretty certain that is not her real name.)  Email me your address, Noodles, and I’ll send you the book.


  1. AnonymousJuly 22, 2010

    Love the picture of your daughter and the cake she made. How sweet! (pun not intended!)

  2. Rachel, you make me laugh! So glad your birthday turned out great after all.

    And yes, what a sweet daughter you have to bake that cake for you. That in itself would make a birthday special : )

  3. Rachel,

    I was just catching up on your blog and felt compelled to tell you what a beautifully gifted writer you are. Your birthday post is amazing.


    And I totally want to be invited to your new patio to watch your herbs grow, sit in the glow of the tikki (sp?) torches, and discover the depths of God with you.

    When am I invited?

    See what 41 does to a person? It makes them bold and able to totally invite themselves over.

    I hope 42 doesn't make me just show up on your doorstep unannounced. Smiles. If so, I'll bring you some health store shampoo and consider it all good.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY friend!!! I love you and I'm sorry I missed your special day. I was living in a hotel finishing my book. It's done - yay!!!

    Loved your birthday post!!

    Glad it ended up being a happy day!

  5. AnonymousJuly 26, 2010

    What an adorable birthday cake! One day I'll be able to bake. Hopefully.

    Glad your birthday was great!


Chime in.