March 3, 2014
Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, Texas, and Me! :o)
March 2nd is my birthday. I am in good company, sharing my big day with a big state, Texas, and a big name in the world of children’s books, Dr. Seuss. The Lone Star State, where I once lived for 16 years (All four of our children were born there.), turned 178 years old this year with the 1836 signing of the Declaration of Independence, making Texas an independent republic. Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, and author of such children’s classics as Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, would have turned 110 this year. I am happy to declare that I am younger than both of these “celebrities” who share my birthdate! :o)
My birthday this year was a good one, filled with the things that I love: classic movies, Disney, jewelry, food/cooking, and more importantly my family and friends. :o)
2003 Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp
To read more about Dr. Seuss, please click on this link.
The State Flag of Texas
To read more about Texas Independence Day, please click on this link.
I once read that the perpetually 39-year-old actor, Jack Benny, said “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I hold to this philosophy and really do not mind if people know my actual age. How old am I? I just turned 39, having been 29 last year. How does one gain ten years with just one birthday, you ask? My eldest, Trevor, turned 30 last month. Upon wishing him a Happy Birthday, I remarked that “We are a miracle of nature, with you turning 30, and your mother, me, just 29!” So with this birthday I decided that it is necessary to add another 10 years to my (fictitious) age, so I am now 39. (Big guffaw, hee hee, ho, ho…) (Okay, so actually, I graduated from high school at the age of 18 in 1976, if you care to do the math, and are a fan of word problems.) The addition of ten years this birthday, not withstanding, I love birthdays! Birthdays are always a good reason/excuse to celebrate. Here is how my wonderful 2014 birthday unfolded.
In my quest for a healthier self, I have been trying to be diligent about beginning my day with exercise; in the form of a semi-brisk walk, and a birthday was no excuse to “beg off”. My Australian friend, Jenny, joined me, this morning, on my birthday walk, making exercise feel like fun, as we chatted the steps away. :o) A wonderful beginning to my day.
Jenny, my talented friend from Australia, and me
After a half day of work, Dale came home. It was a treat to spend the day with my hubby, and the first in several years that we had been on the same continent (due to his work commitments) on March 2nd, making this time together even more special. My wonderful husband baked my special birthday cake, Raspberry Continental, (making it with strawberries since we could not find raspberries) (see recipe below), downloaded a movie for me to watch and one that I love (1966’s “Batman), and took me to the jewelry area of town, to the jewelry man who sells gems and makes jewelry to order. My friend Jenny calls this shop Aladdin’s Cave!! And indeed it was! It was so much fun looking at his inventory of loose rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, and a virtual rainbow of topazes. Yes, it has to be said; I WAS like a kid in a candy store! I felt like Marilyn Monroe’s character in “How to Marry a Millionaire”, when she dreams that jewels are being presented to her by the armload! (Yep, Marilyn and me.) Dale surprised me by instructing me to choose a stone to have made into a piece of jewelry. I chose a stunning, emerald-shaped, royal blue topaz from Sri Lanka to be made into a pendant. Happy Birthday to Me!!! :o)
Marilyn Monroe/Pola Debevoise dreams, sweet dreams, of being in Arabia and given an armful of jewelry to make her feel welcome “according to an old Eastern custom” in the movie “How to Marry a Millionaire”.
Back from my unique shopping experience, ravioli awaited me. (Happily, a few days earlier, we had discovered Buitoni ravioli at the local grocery store-a rare occurrence.) Seven minutes of cooking the pasta, a little butter, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and voilà, dinner was served with my wonderful birthday cake for dessert. Delicious!
A happy find at the grocery store! Just add butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the remainder of evening I enjoyed watching “Batman” and Disney’s 1962 “Sammy the Way Out Seal” (a great gift from my daughter and son-in-law via iTunes), while in-between, talking to my four kiddies who all called to wish me a happy day, and reading the slew of email and Facebook wishes from all of my terrific friends and family. What a perfect way to end a perfect birthday!
Batman and Robin climb up a wall with their batarang in the movie “Batman” (1966) (PG)
(Annette’s birthday cake of choice)
1 pkg. yellow cake mix prepared according to box (with eggs, oil, water)
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 small pkg. frozen raspberries that are prepared with sugar-partially thawed (Strawberries may be used, instead)
(If using unsugared raspberries, increase sugar amount until sweet enough. This may take up to ¼ cup more, or so.)
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Prepare cake per pkg. directions.
Divide evenly into two 8 in. greased and floured round pans.
Bake according to directions on box.
Place one cooled layer on plate.
Spread with butter filling,
then with cooled (not chilled) raspberry filling.
Top with other layer of cake
(At this point it is advisable to lightly cover and put into the refrigerator for a couple hours, or overnight.)
Then frost cake cooled, assembled cake with cooled whipped cream
Chill until serving.
Keep this cake in the refrigerator.
In small mixing bowl, beat softened butter.
Gradually add powdered sugar.
In small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and cornstarch. Add raspberries and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick and clear. (Be patient, as this takes awhile.)
For a seed-free filling, strain out the seeds with a small sieve.
Whipped cream topping
Whip whipping cream using clean, chilled bowl and chilled beaters.
When whipping cream is almost whipped,
gradually add ¼ cup powdered sugar.
Enjoy, and Happy Birthday to you, whenever that may be!
Thanks for reading! :o)
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Adam West as Batman, one of my first childhood crushes! :o)