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If we were having coffee: Celebrating a birthday

A puppy-themed birthday celebration for a very special little boy.

Birthdays! What music in the world! In these unresting times, when nothing intellectual, economic, social, political, seems stable; when customs and traditions hoary with age are mixed with explosive elements, this oldest of institutions is not in danger of yielding to destructive forces.

~J.R. Macduff, Birthdays, 1893

Decorating the cake.

If we were having coffee, I would be delighted to see you again.  It’s been a while since our last coffee chat, hasn’t it?  I never did finish telling you about the Cleveland Film Festival or the rest of the movies we saw.  Ah well, perhaps I’ll catch you up on that someday.  In the meantime, come on in!  Because summer has already arrived here in spite of the date on the calendar, I have lots of cold beverages for us today although the usual hot stuff (coffee and tea) is available.  There are cold snacks, too.  Hummus, pita, raw vegetables, and lots of pickles.  On our way home from a recent trip, M and I stopped off at the Amish market in Easton (here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland), where they have quite a variety of pickles, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We can have a seat out on the porch where the ceiling fan will attempt to keep us cool or we can stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning.  I’m leaving it up to you.  I should warn you that even with the ceiling fan and windows open, it’s pretty hot on the porch right now since the sunlight is pouring in there.

There were puppies everywhere!

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have gone on any adventures or done anything wild and crazy?  Do you have any upcoming trips planned?  Have you been discovering and/or creating?  Have you eaten any great food recently?  And since I’m asking about food and I’m curious, what is your go-to comfort food?  Have you read any good books or seen any good films since our last chat?

Balloons and flowers.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that I am still reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  It is a really well written book that tells an interesting story while tackling the issue of racism in the U.S.  I probably would have finished it by now except I had some other reading to do.  I received a book from the publisher for a TLC Book Tour review early in the month and couldn’t put that off since I was scheduled to do my review on 28 April.  In case you missed it, you can find it here (there’s also a giveaway!).

As for films, would you believe that M and I only recently watched Scent of a Woman?  I know, I know.  It’s from 1992.  That’s old, I suppose.  I didn’t realize when we watched it that Al Pacino had won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as retired Army officer Frank Slade.  M and I have seen parodies of the film and the character, but had never seen the movie.  I enjoyed it.  I’ve always liked Al Pacino (as an actor, of course, since I obviously don’t know him), and found the movie to be both funny and sad.

This hutch used to belong to my grandmother. M and I still have the dining room table that goes with it. M the Younger and his wife now have the hutch.  They don’t need the table since M the Younger built one for them.  (One of these days I’ll take some photos of the things he’s built.  He has a talent for woodwork.)

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that I’ve been away for nearly a week.  As you might recall, Little Wookie’s birthday was on the 19th of April.  His birthday party, which we were graciously invited to, was last Saturday (the 22nd).  It was a puppy themed party which, of course, had me wondering if his parents intended to gift him with a puppy.  Wise parents that they are, they did not.  There were plenty of puppies to be seen, none of them live.  As cute as puppies are, they also require a great deal of care, attention, and training.  Little Wookie’s parents are well aware of that, and restricted the puppies to fake varieties.  A one-year-old is enough to keep them busy for now.  Maybe when he’s older a puppy will make an appearance in his life.


The trip out and back was fairly uneventful in terms of the drive itself, thank goodness.  There is so much traffic on the roads these days, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is, as always, one of my least favorite highways to travel.  The truck traffic can be heavy, the road narrow at times, and that concrete barrier in the middle does not comfort me in the least if we get stuck between it and a truck.  Even so, parts of it are a beautiful drive through the mountains, and it was interesting to move from late spring (early summer) here on the Eastern Shore to early spring in the mountains and mid-spring in northeast Ohio.  The redbuds were in bloom in Maryland and in parts of Pennsylvania, and they are one of my favorite trees.

Tiny puppies playing on the piano.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the party was wonderful.  Little Wookie had a chance to dig into his birthday cake (literally!) and smash it into his face.  He seemed to enjoy opening his gifts and cards.  The ripping of envelopes and paper was nearly as good as the gifts themselves.

Playing with his other Grandma.

There seemed to be just the right number of people attending.  Some of Little Wookie’s cousins were unable to attend due to either illness or conflicts.  All three of my grandchildren were born in April, the dates very close to each other (the 14th, the 19th, and the 23rd).

Smooshing the birthday cake. (Little Wookie’s parents were smart and removed all but his diaper for this event. He still had to get a quick bath after the cake smooshing part of the party, but at least he could return to his birthday clothes afterwards.)

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that we stayed a few extra days to do some maintenance on the house.  As you might recall, M the Younger and Mere are renting our house in the Bogs and, as landlords, sometimes there are things that just have to be done.  The joys of being a homeowner include a lot of maintenance, sweat equity, and money (which can’t be avoided, but can be alleviated somewhat if you happen to be handy).  The major stuff included building a railing on the back deck, painting the trim around the windows on the outside, and roof repair (replacing a few shingles that were blown off during one storm or another).  There was some plumbing, too.

One more birthday sign.

I didn’t actually participate in the building and maintenance activities.  I had the good fortune to be babysitter to Little Wookie.  We spent our time together playing, walking, singing, and doing all sorts of fun things.  I also attended a story time at the local library with Little Wookie, and that was great fun.

Geese on the pond at Breezy Acres.

I don’t think I’ll bother with a Souper Sunday tomorrow.  I made this weekend’s soup yesterday, and it was hot and sour soup because (bet you already guessed it!) I picked up another Little Wookie cold/virus.  For the first time that I can remember, I have laryngitis.  That’s something I may have had once in my life.  It is a good thing we’re not really face-to-face chatting since you wouldn’t be able to hear what I say.  Plus you’d end up exposed to this virus with all the coughing and sneezing I’ve been doing.

Mystery fruit blossoms. I forget when we planted this tree, but it’s grown beautifully over the years and it was heavy with blossoms.  It might be a cherry tree.

If we were having coffee, it would be time for me to turn the chat over to you so you can tell me all about what you’ve been doing since our last get-together.  I hope life has been treating you well.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Stay for as long as you like.  You might even want to watch the sunset from the dock or the Point later.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:52 PM.  It’s rather hazy out today and that might make things interesting when the sun dips down below the horizon.

Pretty in pink.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Crabapple blossoms.

This post is in response to #WeekendCoffeeShare which now has a new home.  Thank you to Nerd In The Brain for taking on the job of hosting it, and to Diana for starting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

A birthday party sunset in the Bogs.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

21 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Celebrating a birthday

  1. You’ve been busy, Robin–but it sounds like most of it has been fun busy. Little Wookie and his puppy-themed birthday sounds like fun, and he’s a cutie. The flowering branches are stunning!
    It’s like summer here, too, and we finally turned our a/c on. The cats have been enjoying the open windows, but they’ve also been keeping me awake (plus thunderstorms early this morning).
    Hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 The busy is just getting started, some of it work and some of it fun. We had to turn on our a/c last month, but not constantly running as it is now. It’s been in the 90’s the past two to three days and very humid.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Little Wookie is most adorable and I love his birthday theme. (Yes I became s late in life dog person) but I agree that a puppy might be a lot of work right now for this family.

    I love that Little M made a table.

    Feel better soon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the photo of Wookie’s first tentative smoosh of cake. A rite of passage! Glad you got to witness it. 🙂
    It’s been warm here and everything is leaping out of the ground. Everywhere I look there is something that needs attending in the yard. The race of spring (which I never win) is keeping me busy in the garden. The ticks have been challenging, alas!
    I just finished reading ‘The stranger in the woods : the extraordinary story of the last true hermit” by Michael Finkel. The most interesting part was exploring the psychology/minds of hermits. Some are on the autism spectrum, not surprising, and in some there is even a genetically inherited peptide/oxytocin deficiency. I also liked reading about how we are wired to be social, but have a need for solitude, it’s a balance that differs with everyone.
    Before that was ‘The Hidden Life of Trees: what they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world’ by Peter Wohlleben. Did I tell you about it? You must read it! I just know you’d love it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I think you did tell me about “The Hidden Life of Trees.” It’s on my reading list. It also came up in the book I just reviewed. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      I can’t believe how fast everything is growing. I think I say that every year. The roses are amazing this year, and the irises should be blooming soon. I also got buzzed by a male rubythroated hummingbird while out in the garden today. He got all up in my face, trying to get a good look. Or maybe he was reminding me it’s time to put the feeders out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think he was reminding you about the feeders! Mine hover over the blank spots on the deck where I put the hanging baskets of Calabrocha. They remember! Someone in the next town over told me she saw her first hummer yesterday – 2 wks. early. Mine should be here anytime. The quince hedge is blooming so the banquet is laid. 😉


  4. Such lovely pictures with this wonderful post. I suppose my favorite is the picture of that precious little one from the side. There is something beautifully angelic about it. Thank you for this welcoming, heartwarming post, dear Robin. I just finished reading “Hallelujah, Anyway” by Anne Lamott, as well as “Wait, What?” by James Ryan. I’m now reading, “Conversations With God: Awakening The Species.” All are fabulous. I hope you feel better soon!💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carrie. 🙂 That’s my favorite of the bunch, too. I have Anne Lamott’s book on my reading list and just added the other two. My list is so long that I will have to live forever to read all those books! lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great photos of apple and other blossoms… you can almost smell them. We have crocuses and tulip leaves … very far behind! However we are opening the windows at night and enjoying warmth on the deck! It will go too fast once it begins.


  6. HI Robin,
    Great to catch up again. I loved all the photos of Little Wookie and his cakes. He’s gorgeous with his snowy blond hair. My son has snowy hair, despite mine being so dark. It’s quite dark now, especially after a haircut. I sort of miss my “Little Man”, but he was high octane and I’m happy looking at the photos, which stay still. You can see him in his glory days here:
    As usual your photos are stunning.
    xx Rowena


  7. Charming puppy themed birthday party! Sorry to hear about the laryngitis, but it seems like it was contracted in a good cause. Four or five days ago, we had a snowfall — I hoping the last of the season here in Colorado Springs. The temperatures are expected to recover to the low 70s by the end of the week. That I can’t wait for. I’m impatient to have the doors and windows open again.


  8. Love all the photos and your stories. Little Wookie is just too darn cute.
    Have most recently read “Life after Life” and “Never Letting Go.” Both of them great reads especially for anyone in the grieving process.
    Just ended a wonderful weekend with visiting cousins who now live in Arizona and Nebraska. Wonderful to “play together” again after 50 years!
    Love to you and M.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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