Birthday Bashes

It seems to be birthday season. Mum and Ally this weekend. Leanne, Steve, and Pa in the next couple of weeks. Maybe there is something about the summer conceptions.

Mum’s birthday was Sunday, which was father’s day also… Lucky Grandpa.
For mums birthday Ben decided that her outdoor shower needed to be pimped. I provided cash, he provided the brawn. Looks pretty good if you ask me. I’m still unlikely to use it, but it looks great. You can see the old one next to it, the small green shade cloth clad contraption.
Sunday the family headed to some falls north of Echuca, for combined mums birthday and fathers day for Pa.  Missing those sorts of things is the problem with moving around and following fun projects.  Mum managed to walk down the falls with relative ease this year apparently; last year she was six months after breaking her leg and it was a chore, twelve months later and she’s noticing the great progress.  Win!  It sounds like they had a great time, sorry I missed it guys.

For fathers days I got a cool tractor for Pa.  Last weekend I found the antique store in York…the glorified junk shop I mentioned. What I didn’t write about is Pa’s present, for obvious reasons. There were a whole lot of matchbox cars. I hunted through them, and actually the owner helped out with the hunt, and eventually found one from 1938.  At the time I was thinking about his birthday present.  But then I saw the miniature tractor collection, and one that looks just like Pa’s!  It morphed into the fathers day gift. I had to call Ben to triple check that Deutz was the right make, even though it looked so damned familiar to me.  It was! Pa says it’s is the model before his, but looks about the same…maybe they just moved the headlights in the new model.  He has also laid down the law with Ma and said that it isn’t going on the mantle piece until the dust is removed.  Knowing how much gran likes cleaning, it’ll never go on the mantle.
Ally decided that she’d give herself a whole five days off for her birthday. So we headed over to her place for a birthday afternoon. Onj and I may or may not have left work a little early…shhh don’t tell the bosses 😉  Though it turns out that Monday was labor day in the states, so I guessed Mark wouldn’t be giving me any more work to do until our Wednesday, on with the Texas water project investigations.  On that topic, Monday I learnt that an annual report for a water authority may be preceded by 30 pages of advertising:

  • 2010 “Waters of the Guadalupe basin flowing through our congregations” advertising the churches;
  • 2011 “Off the beaten path” advertising outdoor pursuits including restaurants, art, and outdoor worship;
  • 2012 “Making memories Outdoor Texas” advertising their parks and recreation;
  • 2013 “Bootscootin’ across the basin” advertising the pubs; and
  • 2014 “Be our guest, B&Bs in the Guadalupe basin”.

See, I wasn’t even making shit up…madness.  The first one I opened happened to be 2010, I thought I’d managed to stumble across a church website not the annual financial documents of a water corporation!

Back to the birthday.  My contribution to Allys birthday afternoon was the birthday cake. Onj did some detective work and found out that Allys favourite is plain chocolate cake with strawberries and cream. I’m my grandmothers granddaughter and can’t possibly make something as plain as that sounded. This is the beast I made Sunday, thanks go to Robyn of add-a-pinch for the recipe for both the cake and the icing (which I think was a bigger hit than the cake itself).  I made two batches so the cake could be three layers with strawberry cream filling and the choc butter frosting.  Its a bit wonky, evidently I can’t cut the tops off straight, but its a beast!  Plus with the left over batter – cupcakes for Pasha and Onj.


This is the birthday present I made for Ally.  I thought of it while I was on site, and actually had all the supplies while up there.  It took for me to get back after Iceland to actually do them.  I guess I finished them about 7 weeks ago so that if I actually got the orders to go to Denver I’d be ready to put them in the post.  Thanks go to Pricey for giving me Allys postal address on site, though I didn’t end up using it, turns out I’m still here so I got to give them to her in person.  I also saw a nice chopping board at the show, so she got that too…stripes of Jarrah and pine, the old bloke who made them was lovely.


I’m not sure what Pasha said that was so hilarious while we were singing happy birthday, but it must have been funny.  There is even pointing!  And of course Ally managed to blow out all the candles without spitting on the cake – too much.  Hehe.  It was a big afternoon of food: super sized sumo salads; baked savoury pastries, luckily eight of each not eight total; awesome banana bread for which I’ll have to get the recipe from Vic; and a treat I see on instagram all the time but haven’t tried until now – banana, peanut butter, and chocolate.  YUM!  It was great to sit around and have a chat with these nutters, they’re such fun, supportive, and loving people, I’m astoundingly lucky to have found them.  Running with the foodish theme, I think the takeaway from the lunch, after quite a verbose tirade, is that hindsight is delicious.  Who would have thunk it.


I also got to spend the afternoon playing with this munchkin, Lucy.  I think most of the meal she sat with her nose in my lap waiting for the ball to magically sprout wings and fly.  Okay, I may have encouraged her a little by throwing it for her from the moment I walked in and she presented me with the ball.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she slept like the dead that night.  Actually, I hope she did have a good and long sleep so Ally could have a sleep in!


Reading the watoday news this week, I found someone who is better at alliteration than me!  Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon wrote the following excerpt for her article “Don’t depend on destiny to deliver dollars to distressed damsels. Dammit. Dames must decide to dig in.”  Pure brilliance there Ms Pedersen-McKinnon, or the person who writes those excerpts!

This week I also met Frankie. She’s a little old lady who does counselling. She totally reminds me of Margaret Rodrick… Now there was a wonderful woman. I hope she is with her dogs in heaven. I digress. Frankie asked about my history with this cancer thing, and what I do for work and relaxation and so on. She identified that my life is high paced and organised and this has taken away all my control. Yup. It’s also taken away one of my learned coping mechanisms, the exercise. She suggested a few things. To get practiced at controlled breathing, five counts in, five counts hold, five counts out. Also that I get onto YouTube and look for some guided meditation or visualisation. We did a visualisation exercise where I walked across the sand and stood in the water, lapped up the energy then walked back. Reminded me that I haven’t built any brick walls in my head lately, must remember that when the baby next door wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep. It sure made me feel calmer.

2 thoughts on “Birthday Bashes

  1. What I wouldn’t do for a piece of that delicious-looking chocolate cake!! I am stuck in this back-water, off-the-beaten-track town of Kigoma in Western Tanzania always looking ahead of when my next meal will be! Thanks Rhiannon, now I can daydream! Xxx


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