Thursday, November 30, 2006

Background Music

“I thought my life would seem more interesting with a musical score and a laugh track.”
-Calvin & Hobbes

I sometimes wonder if suspenseful music added to some scenario of where I'm creeping about alone at night would make it scary. I don't listen to music as much as I used to, but when I did, it was often classical or bluegrass or fernando ortega. I really think my musical score would have Pachelbel's Canon in it because I never get tired of that one. And maybe the Hallelujah Chorus. My life pretty much already has a laugh track with it.

What songs would you want in your musical score?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sometimes You Do Have to Stop

Today, Sharon & I had to go over to one of the courthouses in town for something relative to one of the classes we offer. We talked to the judge and then I think to the deputy clerk. As I was talking to her, it somehow came up that I had been in that very courtroom a few years ago to fight a traffic ticket. Suddenly, it seemed, she had to go.

As I was telling Sharon this story, it became evident that maybe that clerk thought I was one of those People Who Fight Traffic Tickets. Really, I am not. Just go back with me a few years and you will see that I am not. I just had to, you know? And at the time, it seemed like something I wouldn't ever do - go to the courthouse and raise a stink, I mean.

It was 8:00 am on a dark, rainy morning. The kids were at school, and I was taking a friend of mine to the airport so she could fly to Massachusetts to visit her parents. I was driving carefully along the rain slicked road, car ahead of me, car behind me. I approached the intersection, and the light started to turn yellow. I was faced with a split second decision. Do I stop and risk being rear-ended, or do I go ahead when the light could change to red? Recall that we were headed to the airport. All of these factors exploded in my brain and resulted in an extra pump to the pedal. It looked as if we had made it through with ease. But no, down the road a cop pulled out after the cop at the intersection radioed ahead. I think it's what you would call a sting operation. Now, would you take this lying down? It seemed like I had a credible story, not to mention a witness. So to the courthouse I went to defend myself with my witness. Unfortunately, the Magistrate did not fall for my story.

Stay tuned for the story of when I got stopped for DUI.

Okay, I can't wait another day and let you think I would ever drink & drive.

One night, I was coming home at 9pm after working at the bookstore. I was thinking about something that had just happened at work when I stopped at a red light. As I was sitting there, I noticed the light changing from green to red and then I had to sit through a whole other red light. I saw a cop sitting there at the intersection and he followed me. Then the old flashing lights went on and I pulled over. I rolled down my window, and passed the coherency test not to mention I had my name tag on from the Christian bookstore. He said he was just checking. I said something or rather about being glad he was watching out.

This is still one of my favorite t-shirts of Edward's:

cam 018
I long for the day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lectio Divina

Last night, John & I went to the book club where we talked about Part 2 of Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson. This section of the book talks about the ancient art of Lectio Divina which is a way to read the Bible. It consists of Lectio (we read the text), meditatio(we meditate the text), oratio(we pray the text) and contemplatio (we live the text). Peterson says not to think of this process as linear but rather as a looping spiral in which the four elements are repeated in various sequences and configurations.

Lectio Divina is a way of reading that becomes a way of living. A European monk named Guigo the Second described it this way,"Reading puts the solid food into our mouths, meditation chews it and breaks it down, prayer obtains the flavour of it, and contemplation is the very sweetness which makes us glad and refreshes us."

In two weeks, we're going to talk about Part 3 of the book.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Snip, snip, snip

Edward & I went on adventures today. I took him to the doctor this afternoon where he had 3 moles removed - 2 on his neck and one on his head. (I think he must get this moleyness from John :) I felt like a big biohazard sitting in the room, but I was no worse than the running shoes on his feet, I suppose. The doctor put the moles in 3 separate vials with solution in them and they will go to a lab to be checked as a precaution. Edward reminded me of the time when George on Seinfeld was told his test results were "negative" and he said "No, Oh no, no, no," until he was told negative is good. I get to remove the stitches on Saturday. For some reason, I already know how to do this, but I don't remember why. I suppose I've seen it done a few times.

Oh yeah, I said "adventures." Well, we went to the ATM, the gas station & grocery store. It was a bit uneventful, but it still felt like an adventure. I suppose anything does when you're with a sixteen year old.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Cat and Dog

kids 085

Beatrix makes herself at home when she comes with Mom & Dad for a visit. When they roll in our driveway, she gets so excited because she knows where she is! She loves to eat Leo's cat food when she is here - it is such a treat. This time, Leo figured he may as well join in the party, so he ate Beatrix's dog food while Bea was sleeping.

kids 094-1

kids 093
This new delicacy will probably find itself in a regurgitated hump on the carpet which will cause great gagging spasms in my esophagus and stomach.

kids 090
Mom loves her little Beatrix!

kids 086
And Dad found something to do to keep busy. He is working on a bathroom downstairs.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Queen


HRH, The Queen Mother (aka Mom) & I went to see this movie today and all we can say is wow, we did not want it to end! The Old World clashed with the New, and the Royal family was portrayed as stoic in the face of Princess Diana's death... (we cannot give her a royal funeral, she is not a royal, oh look, my tea has gone cold).

But in what I thought was the highlight of the movie, the Queen who is on holiday in the Scottish Highlands goes out for a drive by herself. She comes face to face with a beautiful 14 point stag and she has tears in her eyes. Then a gun shot sounds and she tells the stag to shew. You cannot help but draw a parallel to Diana's life here.

You definitely empathize with the Queen as being a product of the life she was born into. And then you are proud of her for the way she comes around. Tony Blair also gave her great support in his first days as Prime Minister.

This was the best movie I've seen in a long time!

Friday, November 24, 2006

They Call This Black Friday

This day has been going on for about a week.

It started at 3 am when John asked me if I wanted to go to Best Buy with him. I have never been one for the early-bird-day-after-thanksgiving-specials, since I am not an early bird, but there I was wide awake, and I thought it sounded like an adventure. Well. At 4:30 am, we made it to the dark parking lot and saw the long line made up of about 200 yards of people. Some of them had been camping all night. The doors opened at 5:00 am, and it was a most orderly, polite rush. John didn't even trample over anyone.

We were able to get a few good deals, and then we went to Circuit City where we got a couple more. We were driving home as the first hint of sun was making its way over the horizon. I remember myself saying in a monotone, "We have to keep our eyes open for (blank) software", and I thought I sounded like the most boring person on earth when I heard myself say this.

After a scrambled egg & sausage breakfast made by Beverly, we headed out again. This time, Mom, the girls & I headed to the mall for Christmas shopping. I know not why I chose to wear my clogs when I had been awake since 3 am. As we sat there at lunch at Olga's Restaurant, I felt like I had just taken a vicodin.We did a lot of walking and shopping and overall had a delightful day in spite of legs wearied by tottling around on clogs. We came home and made up a recipe about leftover ham which we are waiting to come out of the oven. And I'm still wide awake.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Julia with chicken
The title of this picture is "Julia with chicken."
It's my grandma.

Psalm 118
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the Lord say: "His love endures forever."
5 In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free.
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!
16 The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things!"
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Walk Much?

Yesterday at work, HR sent out an e-mail that they had 75 more flu shots available for employees, so good luck getting there while they still have them because if they're gone when you get there, you'll just have to wait till they get another batch in. (They didn't really say that last part.) Sharon asked me if I wanted to go get one with her, so I was like all ready for it. We took off. It was only something like 8:02 am in the morning, but we were on a race to go get one of the 75 shots because we have to walk over to an entirely different building on campus. So Sharon takes off, almost in a trot to get there, but really, she is just trying to keep up with me because I always walk fast, or at least that's what she says. Everytime I think of what happened next, I laugh. We were rounding a corner down by Development and I was picking up speed in our little unspoken race, and I forgot that I had my clogs on! Yes, I fell flat on my face. It really didn't hurt at all, but it was just more of a pain to explain that, no really, I was ok.

Today at work, one of my co-workers whose name is Carol told me about her visit to the dog opthamologist. The reason I mention her name is because I often think that if you are named Carol, that pretty much destines you to a life of social work or public administration. Oh wait, I did know one who was a pension analyst like I was. Anyway, one of her dog's irises wasn't working, so the vet prescribed Doggles.

I went to the dentist yesterday, and today, I am prouder than an eight year old to say that I had no cavities.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Working at the Carwash

ed 012
Sometimes, when you're a mom...
ed 011 just can't help...
ed 010
...being a geek.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So Not Blue

Today I got a kick out of the headline in the Grand Rapids Press. It said "So Blue."
So waa-waa.

But when we went to church, everyone was in a celebrative mood there. In reality, no one was blue about the big game. There were a ton of people there because Amy was being ordained. Dr. Stan Mast from LaGrave Ave CRC talked about Elijah's cloak. We had lunch together afterwards, and what happened next shows how life in Michigan is about more than the Wolverines. Of course.

I was standing by a couple friends, one from Bolivia and the other from Africa (I'm thinking she is from Zaire, but could be Zimbabwe or Zambia) looking at the 3 big beautiful sheet cakes. One was chocolate with about 1-1/2 inch thick chocolate pudding-like filling, and one was white with the same chocolate filling. Then Martha, from Africa, said something about the chocolate which I was having trouble comprehending, so I said, yes we can get a chocolate fix here as if that is an idea that should cross all cultural boundaries, right? Then I realized she was saying something about bitta which I still didn't understand until Kathya from Bolivia translated it to me in my native American tongue. She said Bitterrrrrr. And that's when they realized they could understand each other's English better than American English. I decided not to ask them if they were at all blue about the Wolverines.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Help, I'm in Enemy Territory!

Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye...


I grew up in the state of Ohio and somehow, learned to be a diehard fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes even though I grew up in a non-football-loving-family. I think it happened when I was 12 and was in the hospital in Michigan for 6 weeks and travelled frequently to Michigan thereafter for doctor's appointments. I had to stand up for the home team, you know? Even though I've lived in Michigan far longer than I did in Ohio, I have kept my loyalty to the Buckeyes.

This past week, I was talking to our orthodontist and I saw his Ohio State diploma on the wall. This of course led to a 15 minute discussion of Ohio State...

So today is the big game. I can't wait to see what happens!

Here's a joke I heard about the dear Buckeyes by a Michigander: What's the difference between Ohio State and Frosted Flakes? Answer: Frosted Flakes know what to do in a bowl.

Do you see what I have to live with up here?

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Story Isn't Over Yet

John & I went to a book club this past Monday night where we were discussing Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson. There was much to talk about in this book about how to read the Bible. We read the following in Chapter 4:

"The Scriptures, simply by virtue of their narrative form, draw us into a reality in which we find ourselves in touch with the very stuff of humanity; what we sense in our bones counts. It is a story large with the sense of God, a world suffused with God, a world permeated with God's spoken and unspoken word, His unseen and perceived presence, in such a way that we know it is the world we were made for, the world in which we most truly belong. It isn't long before we find ourselves imaginitively entering the story, taking place in the plot, and following Jesus."

In 2 weeks, we are going to talk about Part 2 of the book, Lectio Divina, which describes a way of reading the Bible. So stay tuned!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What Follows Us

A friend at work sent me this story:

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn't want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying
at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her. Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.

Finally he said to Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?"

Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yeah, I know who she is."

The friend said, "Well, who is she?"

"That's just Shirley Goodnest," Timmy replied, "and her daughter Marcy."

"Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is she following us?"

"Well," Timmy explained, "every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life,' so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!"

I wanted to add one great thing to this post. Did you know that the Hebrew word for "follow" in Psalm 23:6 is actually better translated as "pursue"? His goodness and mercy are pursuing us! This is your thought for the day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Some Stuff

The other day, I was looking down at Maria's size 0 pants on the floor and for some reason, I thought I should try them on. It seemed like a good challenge. The good news is I actually got them on and buttoned. They didn't look very good on me though as I was sort of pouring out from them. I did a little teenage dance in the mirror which caused my daughters to cringe when I told them about it.

And as I alluded to before, our kitty is good at mathematics.

kitty 004
He pounces on the right answer.

kitty 005
He looks around smugly after he gets it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Morning Merry Sunshine

This morning, my alarm clock was a grumpy bedfellow. I am not a morning person. In the morning, I want to keep on sleeping because at night when it's time for bed, I want to keep on living. (John is one of those @#$%^&*! morning people)

Then I read this: Ps.46:5 God himself lives in that city; it cannot be destroyed. God will protect it at the break of day (the crack of dawn).

That woke me up. No need to muddle through before God shows up - he's already here.

Now I just realized I actually wake up with an internal alarm clock. Does that change anything?

Monday, November 13, 2006


Thanksgiving advertisement
Mom & Dad are also coming to GR for Thanksgiving.

Seconds ago, I realized that it will already be Thanksgiving next week, so it is time once again to prepare for the coming of HRH, the Queen Mother. Thanks to Uncle Alan in New Hampshire for the above photo.

P.S. Thanks also to my sister Andrea for serving her country in the Air Force. I was thinking of you on Veteran's Day, Andrea.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Shoes Untied

John started a blog! It's called Shoes Untied, and in it, he writes about running and things he thinks about while doing all that running.

In church today, we talked about Psalm 73. I wrote about the message here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Vote Here

When the Cross Country season was over, Edward started a new job at a car wash. The manager asked him if he could get his hair cut, so he went for it. Vote for the one you like here! (P.S. It's too late to do the first one.)

camera 020-ed

bridget 032-ed2

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Best Day Ever

This is the title of the 24-hour Sponge Bob marathon which is going on right now as I write. Coincidentally, Edward & Maria did not have school today, so they have kind of been watching this show which they used to watch when they were younger. Now if you would happen to hear Edward, Maria & Bridget join in unison to sing the "Best Day Ever", just those 3 words, you might feel really happy inside, especially if you were their mother.

This morning, I saw an interview with some Christian, Jewish & Muslim kids who were asked about heaven. In a simple, yet profound way, one little girl said, "People say heaven is good, but I think God wants us to be good down here and not up there." I thought there was a lot of truth in that, and I hope all would see how He showed us the Way to heaven when He sent His own son Jesus.

Edward & I raked up some leaves this afternoon and this may be the last I say about them till next Spring. I hereby dedicated this pile to all the people I know in Malaysia who do not have a pile of leaves to jump into.

bridget 004

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Probably the Second to the Last Post About Leaves

We are having an Indian summer here in Michigan which is the best time of year. It was sunny and in the 60's. Most of the leaves are off of the trees except for the reddish brown oaks.

camera 032

And the leaves on this tree in the neighborhood are history now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Photo Booth

bridget 026
bridget 006
bridget 005
bridget 023
bridget 021
bridget 010

I quite often encourage the kids to read or speak with expression. It just makes it all more exciting, you know? Lately, I've been getting a kick out of Bridget's expressive face, so we had a brief photo shoot last night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


camera 004

The other day, the girls were doing this with their feet, and Bridget said, "We're bonding." I took a picture because I thought it was such a unique approach.

They do have the more traditional methods of bonding.

cc 038

And then this morning, before school, they were sitting on the couch together so sweetly.


They are so much fun to have around!

Monday, November 06, 2006


I'm recovering quite nicely from the birthday weekend. I had to stop at the drug store on the way to work to get some ibuprofen since my body was aching from the long hike. I think I used some different walking muscles in climbing those hills and ducking under tree branches. And at work, I was able to fit "external hard drive" quite easily in to a few conversations.

camera 042
Leo helping Maria with her homework. This photo can also be found on my external hard drive.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Good Birthday Weekend

We finished off the birthday weekend by going to church this morning.
We talked about Deuteronomy 31-32 today and especially ch 32 vs. 46-47:

Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you--they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

There was a sign wishing a happy birthday to the drummer Daniel and me, the two in our church who were born on the same day, only 21 years apart. I asked him once how old his mother was, and then I said, yup, I'm old enough to be your mother. Everyone sang happy birthday. Not surprisingly, the young people at our church thought it was cool to get an external hard drive for your b-day, and yes, I am starting to like it a lot.

We did one more thing today which really served to prolong the birthday weekend. We went on a five mile hike through a nature preserve.

camera 035

We thought we saw an Indian.

camera 041

We made it back to the car perilously close to dark.

camera 038-2

Saturday, November 04, 2006


We did continue the birthday festivities last night by going to a place called the Macaroni Grill which only actually has macaroni on the children's menu. This cozy restaurant looked like it was in an old Italian villa and the flavors in the parmesan crusted chicken salad I had exploded in my mouth. After our supper, the waitress brought us a big piece of chocolate cake coated in hot fudge with whipping cream and a candle on top.

We went home to have another cake which John brought home, but we each only ate about a cubic inch. It was an awesome cake though because it looked and tasted like a giant ho-ho.

camera 007-2
This was taken shortly before The Gift.

I felt like the excitement could have been sustained forever, but then reality has its way of creeping in sometimes. I opened a present from the girls - it was a new billfold/purse which I needed. But then John prefaced the presentation of his gift with, You probably won't like this, at least not immediately, but in about 2 weeks you might, but you can take it back if you want. I felt like I was about to open Pandora's box as I reached in the gift bag, and pulled out the mystery object. I looked down and saw an external hard drive. I was speechless. I kind of laid on the couch like a popped tire, not sure what to do next. John decided we better go to the store to get that CD I had wanted. As we left, I said something about how it was like getting a furnace for your birthday. We both laughed until we cried. (Not that I wouldn't be thankful for a furnace.)

Now as I sit here at the computer, I do think my new external hard drive is pretty cool in its own way. John said it will hold about 75,000 pictures taken with the 8 MP camera I have. I said it's like getting a photo album then for my birthday... actually, like all the photo albums I will need for the rest of my life. Yay!

Stylish & cute.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes!!!

On the eve of the great day, John & I went over to Calvin to see Sense & Sensibility as performed by the Calvin Theater Company. I always get a kick out of watching plays in the Gezon auditorium because you are so close to the stage and the actors. Indeed, at the beginning, the actors sat in various planned empty seats throughout the audience and began talking in their British accents. I tried to break through the personna of Mrs. Dashwood, who sat next to John. She did tell us she was from Estes Park, Colorado, but when I asked her how she got that accent, she said she picked it up when she came to Calvin. I then proceeded to tell this stranger how I had gone hot tubbing today in the snow as if I were the only person ever to have done such a thing.

So as the play went on with the Dashwood sisters developing their love affairs using their prospective degrees of sense and sensibility, I grew exasperated of their growing despair and lament of the failures of their loves and I accidentally let out a big snort. It was past 10:30 pm and I thought it time to go home already.

We finally did make it home, and I was still awake at midnight when it became my actual birthday. I didn't feel any older. As I later told a friend, you are always the same age in your head. Mom & Dad called me in the morning and mom sang Happy Birthday, but Dad said, I'm not going to sing. I said that was okay by me.

I arrived at work to a dark office, and even though we already had a party on Wednesday, I still felt like there were surprises lurking. Sure enough, my office was decked out in signs and balloons and 5 little gift bags with Goobers in them. It was a fun morning with everyone seeming to be having fun on my birthday.

I had an impromptu lunch at Panerra with a friend who e-mailed her birthday wishes. Then the UPS truck dropped off a box with something called an Electric Kettle from my mother. I have to say that this is a bloggable topic in itself, so I will leave it at that for now.

It is almost supper time now and when John gets home, we will continue...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Celebration Goes On

Last night, I made this excellent recipe for chicken which comes from my friend Maeghan who lives in Kuala Lumpur. It was unbelievably good and so easy to make and the kids loved it too! Such a good thing to have when you're almost 44!

So then to top off the pre-b-day festivities, I went hot tubbing outdoors today with a friend of mine. It turned out to be one of those picturesque hot tubbing days we had always jokingly wished for when the snowflakes are coming down gently from the sky as you sit in the soothing hot, bubbling water. And now, my old bones and muscles are feeling great.

So then, to further celebrate the aging event, a friend at work sent me this song sung recently by Julie Andrews who played Maria in the Sound of Music even though I'm not this old yet:

Malox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd
that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More Hitches in Yer Git-a-long

November is known as National Getting Older Month, to me at least. This coming Friday, I will be celebrating 44 mostly fun-loving years on this earth! Fourty-four is such a great number! I will accept late cards in the mail! The month's festivities began today with a party at work where we had pumpkin pie! fig newton cake!? and juice! Join the celebration!