Grateful Thanks & Bits of the Birthday

Before I ramble on about my birthday, let me take a moment to say how much I love all of you.


I don’t know if anyone who is not part of this amazing world of blogging and bloggers would understand just how much love and compassion and support we give to each other. I’ve been a part of it for going on 5 years and, yet, I am still knocked for a loop when I share something that is personal and sometimes fearful and you all come through for me. With prayers, with support, with love, with everything that is good about us – you, my friends, are there for me. Your prayers for Scout helped her. I know that. I believe in that. So many of you kept checking back to see how she was doing, to see whether I had posted an update. Many of you sent me private emails expressing your concern about her.

I’ve shared with you the stress and worries that plague our family. You always have an encouraging word. You always hold us in your thoughts.

Words are inadequate but I do thank you sincerely. I am blessed by your friendship, by having you in my life.

Thank you, dear friends.

Okay, a little birthday stuff. Though we were immersed in worry about our girl, Don took me out to lunch. I expressed a desire to eat at a favorite restaurant that serves this amazing dish called Lentil Cakes. Believe me, they are scrumptious. So we drove south quite a ways to this charming town on the Hudson River.

The restaurant was closed.

What? Apparently it is always closed on Wednesdays. Feeling somewhat down anyway, I thought: It figures. Nothing is going well. Let’s just go home. But Don suggested we walk a few blocks and we discovered another restaurant – new to us, filled with sunlight and happy people and we decided to eat there. Great food, wonderful staff. After lunch, I was surprised by this:

Two lovely ladies brought it to the table and started singing Happy Birthday. Don joined in. And suddenly, everyone in the restaurant joined in. I mean, everyone! With smiles and laughter, they all sang to me. It was so lovely. I joined in the applause at the end of the song, for I was applauding their sweetness and generosity. It made my day.

You might remember that my birthday present came early this year – 2 months early – when I discovered a Singer Featherweight in a little shop. We decided that would be my big birthday present and, so, Mabel joined the family. But Don thought he had to give me a little something.

Hello! I won’t be returning these. (Actually, I rarely return anything. I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.)

I specifically asked for this one. I couldn’t justify buying the new Lee Child in hardcover. But I figured it would be totally justified as a birthday present. Right?

And this magnet for our refrigerator:

Answer: Decades younger. This has always been one of my favorite quotes and it reminds me that age is a state of mind.

And at the risk of posting yet another photo of myself, here I am eating my unbelievably sinful piece of cake:

I normally shy away from posting a lot of ‘me’ photos and as I look back over the past week’s posts, yikes! There are a lot of them. I promise to back off on them as of today. Enough already.

With my new vow in mind, let me share this with you:

Miss Scout had her legs shaved for her IV’s. She rather looks like a poodle, don’t you think? The techs put that animal print bandage on her when they took out the last IV and, though they told me I could take it off when we got her home, I’ve left it there. Such adorableness.

After an exhausted morning yesterday, she is perking up and I’m definitely seeing signs of my feisty girl. This morning she greeted me with some playful pounces as I came down the stairs.

Grateful. Thankful.

New scarf in the shop!

I really love this one.

I will be back at 8:00 EST for A Favorite Thing. I don’t know how many of you will want to link on this holiday weekend, but everyone is welcome.

Happy Friday.

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  1. Judy says

    I Absolutely Love when you post pictures of yourself! It makes me feel like I really know you, you know like real friends., and we are having an actual conversation. HOORAY for Scout she is on the mend.

  2. Charlotte MacDiarmid says

    Dear Birthday Girl, Claudia, It’s wonderful that you had such a nice birthday even if you didn’t get to go to your favorite place. Sometimes “spur of the moment” decisions are the most fun after all. I’m glad that you and Don could spend your day together.. That piece of cake looks totally scrumptious.. I hope you enjoyed every morsel.
    I don’t have a blog of my own, but I love to follow yours and many other interesting ones.. When I read that someone is having difficulty it makes me hurt too. I and my family have known so many difficulties over the years and at my age I can understand and empathize with what lots of my “blog friends’ are going through.. It makes me happy when I hear good news too.
    I’m so happy to hear the good news about Scout.. I’ve been talking about her to my family.. Her animal print band looks very “fetching”.
    I enjoyed the biscuits at Cracker Barrel yesterday, but ate way too much. The meal was very nice and I didn’t feel like eating anything else for the remainder of the day.
    Have a wonderful Friday and a glorious week.
    Hugs, Charlotte in Va.

    • Claudia says

      Ummm mmmm – Cracker Barrel! Charlotte, I sent your scarf out in the mail this afternoon. It’s on its way.

      • Charlotte MacDiarmid says

        Thank you Claudia.. I hope your sweet girl is feeling much better tonight. Have a great weekend. Charlotte

  3. Susie says

    Claudia, You are too pretty to be camera shy. Smile girl and let your picture be taken. I would have loved to hear Don singing to you. Hope things are looking up for all of you. xo, Susie

    • Claudia says

      Me, too. Susie. We still have some serious challenges here, but I’m so grateful that Scout is on the mend.

  4. says

    Shame on me for missing your big day, Claudia. Another excuse for an Extended Birthday greeting! Sorry to read that Scout was having problems. I know how your heart aches when our beloved pets age or are ill. I’ll say prayers for her now, and for you and Don. You’ve been a light for me in the blogging world, welcoming me into the fold when I began over three years ago. I’m grateful for your friendship. Happy Birthday – and Happy Thanksgiving – my friend.
    I’m always thankful for you.

  5. says

    I’m delighted that you had a wonderful birthday lunch out… and that cake looks as lovely as the pretty box of truffles! I’m so happy that Miss Scout is feeling better and I must say that her new shaved legs enhance her Suesseyness perfectly. xo

  6. says

    Claudia that is the sweetest smile on your face! You look truly happy! I am glad your Birthday day was a good one and with Miss Scout home at the end, perfect! I too love the blogging community and the lifting up of each other we do. The new Jack Reacher book you received is really good!!! My friend bought it and I borrowed it. Enjoy and tell miss Sassy Scout that like her band-aid! Big hugs, Linda

    • Claudia says

      Sassy Scout says thank you very kindly, Linda. I have one book to read before I can start on the Jack Reacher…cannot wait! xo

  7. Lori says

    So happy you had a wonderful birthday….I love seeing pics of you and Don, makes your blog seem much more “real” when you can put a face to the stories :)
    I also love the photo you took of what appears to be Main Street in the town on the Hudson River…the light along with the holiday decorations is heartwarming.
    Have a wonderful weekend , I hope Scout continues to be well and feisty !
    Here’s to YOU !!!

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Lori. That town is very charming – many, many old buildings and an incredible view of the River and the mountains.

  8. says

    We were all singing Happy Birthday to you, Claudia.♥ Please don’t judge me for singing off-key.

    My heart is full reading that Scout is better. Tell her I think she is “stylin”‘”.

  9. rizzi says


  10. says

    I love seeing your sweet face Claudia. I enjoy your posts so much. You are real life to me and I think of you as a real friend. I am so glad that Scout is feeling better. My first thought when I saw her shaved ankles was that she was making a fashio statement. I know that she is just as glad to be back home with you. What a sweet birthday. Let’s hope things are uphill from now on. (((((HUGS)))))

    • Claudia says

      I hope so, Debby. We have some additional serious challenges at the moment, but we are very grateful for Scout’s improved condition.

  11. GinaE says

    So glad you had a lovely lunch out with Don for your birthday. I hope that dessert was as sinfully good as it looked.
    I love Scouts very chic and ubber trendy animal print band aide. Very NY! I hopy your card got there.
    Hugs, Gina

  12. Karen says

    Claudia, I find I wait anxiously to see your blog post pop up. I’m so glad Scout is feeling better; it makes a difference in my day. And a belated very happy birthday to you. I’m not a blogger; I’m a reader. But as I have become familiar with some of you it amazes me that the blogging community is so close. It makes me want to join in, though it’s doubtful I ever will. Know that you have readers as well who are very concerned and care about your family’s wellbeing.


  13. says

    Claudia, I cannot tell you how relieved and happy I am that Scoutie is so much better!!! I have prayed my heart out for her, I think of her in the same way I do my own “babies”! I know that is crazy, but I can so clearly see that you love her just as much as I love my own, and I was so heartbroken over Riley, I couldn’t bear the thought of Scoutie being sick! Praise God! I know so very many of us were praying for Scoutie, and for you and Don, and prayer never fails us, even when it is not answered as we wish. I am just so glad that this time, our prayers and His will were the same!
    So glad you had a good birthday! Sounds lovely. I think Don is a keeper!

  14. says

    It looks like such a fun birthday! Here in Juneau, we don’t have much opportunity to stumble upon a new restaurant, as we have been to the same restaurants over and over!

    I am so glad Scout is better! She looks quite rakish and stylish with her shaved legs – it could become the new doggy fashion!

  15. Becky says

    Hi Claudia, I’ve only commented on your blog once before I think, but I read your posts each day and enjoy them. The reason your blog is special is because you are one of the rare people who is willing to be real and personal on the blog. I appreciate that so much, and I know others do too. I can find a magazine to get decorating ideas if I want them, but getting to hear about another woman’s life is, well, special. You are a lovely person and it’s a pleasure to visit with you a bit each day. So keep being personal, keep those lovely pictures coming. And of course I wish you and Don and Scout the very best.

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Becky. Your words mean so much to me. I try to keep this blog honest and real and to hear that you appreciate that makes me smile. I’m so glad you commented! Come back again.

  16. says

    It looks like you had a beautiful day yesterday Claudia, I am so happy for you. So, so glad that Scout is peppy again. That looks like a lovely restaurant, how was the food, the cake looks yummy. What a picture perfect town. I am so pleased that your birthday turned out so lovely.


    • Claudia says

      The food was really good. I had a roasted veggie wrap and Don had a fish taco and both were delicious. And the cake – to die for.

  17. says

    OMG, the thickness of that layer of chocolate in the middle of your cake is making me go ga-ga!! Looks like you had a fun birthday, despite the chosen restaurant being closed.

    Good news about Scoutie!! She’s a real trooper!!

  18. says

    I believe the gratefulness is two sided. I have been coming to visit you for several years now. There have been times when I have felt depressed about my daddy or my mom or just worried about finances, etc. I would come to visit you and it would be a welcoming escape. I suppose that’s the most treasured gift we bloggers receive from each other. We have so many warm and welcoming places to go that give us peace, love and security in this all too uncertain world. See you tonight after 8 PM. Would not miss it! And I am so happy that Scoutie is back home with her family. The bandages are too cute. I would keep them on for a bit too.

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Susan. I feel the same way about blogging. We are under real stress here right now about finances, and you know the situation with my parents is very sad. I, too, find welcome respite from my worries through blogging and sharing with my blogging friends. I’m so grateful for this community.

  19. says

    Sounds like things are so much better there, it makes me so happy to hear it! Sounds like your birthday had its high points (aside from our Scout being sick) – like that chocolate cake! Claudia, we’re all so glad to be here for you and we’ll even enjoy your pictures as often as you put them up lol. Looking forward to Favorite Things later today. Hugs ~ Mary

  20. says

    There is so much in this post that I hardly know where to start a response….I am so very glad your girl is home with her cute little poodle cut bandage. You are so right about all the love and support here in Blogland. It is hard to explain it to anyone that doesn’t blog-they just don’t get it.
    I teared up when I read the part about the birthday cake in the “second choice” restaurant. What a wonderful, meaningful celebration….and great presents to accompany the cake!
    Happy Black Friday to you, Claudia. I hope some of your worries are dropping away. xo Diana

    ps….You don’t LOOK 60! xo Diana

    • Claudia says

      God bless you for saying that, Diana! There are some days, I fear, when I look every bit of 60, plus a few years!

  21. says

    I am thrilled to hear she’s home! I was thinking about her Thanksgiving Day, hoping she was home for the holiday and doing much better. It must have been excruciating being separated from her.

    Happy Belated Birthday!


  22. Annette Tracy says

    Claudia, this was a great post. I loved the picture of the town. Reminds me of Fenton, Michigan as they decorated with those wreaths across the street, too, and it was small and quaint. I loved that they never put up decorations until today, the day after Thanksgiving. I think it brought on more excitement rather than being bombarded with advertisements and music months in advance. Your luncheon surprise, both the restaurant and cake, was so exciting for you. Your best present, of course, was having your puppy home safe and sound.

  23. Chris k in Wisconsin says

    Oh, Claudia,,,, I am SO HAPPY that Scout is bouncing back. What wonderful news!! And what MORE could anyone ask for on their birthday?? I have one of our 2 greyhounds on my lap as I type this. The love and company of our furry friends can’t be duplicated in any other form. Turning 60 is not something that EVERYONE gets to do. For those of us lucky enough to have made it, I welcome you to the club! May your next trip around the sun be an amazing adventure enjoyed one day at a time. Happy ,,,, Happy!!!

  24. says

    Hi Claudia!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! It looks like everything turned out just spiffy!

    I have been blogging for a little over 5 years, too! I share your sentiments! The blogging community is very inspiring and supportive. I have made many friends!

    I am a diehard Godiva lover — especially truffles! Lucky lady!

    Smiles from Idaho,

    • Claudia says

      I had one of the truffles today, Karen. Melt in your mouth delicious! Thanks for the Birthday wishes!

  25. says

    What a great photo of you! Interesting thought – if your favorite restaurant hadn’t been closed, then you wouldn’t have discovered the new restaurant or had the pleasure of so many people wishing you a happy birthday. Silver linings my dear. Happy Birthday again – I so love you and your blog!

  26. says

    Well, was there ever a cuter doggie bandaid? She does look rather fu-fu with her shaved legs – Westminster entry this year perhaps? So glad you had a nice birthday afterall, Claudia. Such nice presents! I didn’t even know Lee Child had a new book out…. hmmmm, Christmas list….. Enjoy your weekend. Ann

  27. says

    Such a birthday to remember, Claudia! What looked like it was going to favor a sow’s ear turned into a pretty new silk purse! I’m so glad your husband encouraged you to take that little walk…There was a untold treasure right around the corner! Life is full of surprises…and, when we least expect them…They seem to show up out of nowhere.
    I am so happy to see darling little Scout home sporting his snappy tiger bracelet/bandage.

    Thanks you for sharing your day with all of us!
    Carolynn xo

  28. says

    I’m glad you enjoyed the Happy Birthday song, for I’m so shy about such things, I would have probably shrank underneath the table! But good for you for being a good sport. Good for Don for being such a sweetie. And yes, Scout does look a bit like a poodle!

  29. says

    Bless her heart, how sweet those little legs look. I think you do know that Scout has been adopted into the hearts of so many. It’s wonderful that you had some happy things to enjoy on your birthday too. It looks as if even the fellow patrons at lunch wanted to cheer you up!

  30. says

    I think it’s great that you found a new place to dine when the one you wanted was closed. I love serendipity like that. I’m glad you had a great day.. and with all that chocolate, it was sure to be great! Say – I am so glad you have photos of yourself in your blog. It’s so nice to see the face behind the words. A few of my favorite bloggers have never EVER shown their own faces and I dearly would love to see them. I just put a photo of my hubby and me on mine, but I almost didn’t as I’m not slim and pretty.. but I am what I am.. a plump grandma. So, it is what it is. So, please don’t stop putting your smiling face on your blog. Glad to hear Scout got to come home. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  31. says

    I love your pictures. You always look so cute. I am so happy to see that Scout is on the mend and that you and Don ended up having a wonderful lunch. You definitely deserved it.


  32. Patti says

    I am so happy you had such a nice birthday Claudia! That cake looked delicious and that town looked so nice and quaint. I am sure having Scout at home made for a more special day for you! I feel very lucky to have you and your sister as such supportive friends! ~ Big Hug, Claudia

  33. says

    It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. How fun that everyone in the restaurant sang to you. Those truffles look really good. Enjoy! Best wishes, Tammy

  34. says

    Love the new look that Scout is sporting although I hope she won’t ned any more bandages for a long….time. Love the birthday photo.

  35. says

    Happy late birthday! Sorry, I’ve been kind of in my own world these past couple of weeks. My husband had to get hand surgery and my days were thrown completely off when we realized that I was going to be staying home with him (not planned). So two weeks ago I had off Tuesday-Friday and then last week I had off Wednesday-Friday and now here I am back at work trying to catch up! Anyway, happy happy birthday! I missed the blog about poor Scout so I am scrolling down right now to read what else I’ve missed.
    P.S. I love that scarf. Beautiful.

  36. Lena says

    I’m so happy that Scout is doing better now, Claudia, and that your birthday was a happy one.

    Life can come at us so fast sometimes. It’s hard, I know, when that happens, but you’re a wonderful and very strong person, and I know you’ll make this next year the very best that you can.

    Lots of love and good wishes to you.


  37. says

    What a lovely birthday lunch, Claudia! And the book you wanted and chocolates you love was a sweet touch, despite already having Mabel. But I’m sure having Scout home and being her perky self was the best present. (I love her “Poodle Leg” and the Victoria Secret leopard bandage. Ooo-lah-lah.)

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