Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My Birthday

Was yesterday. I turned 100 years old, and it was grand. Actually, it really was grand. Can I share?

From Michael. Because I love flowers. And the color orange. And, also from Michael, this. Does he get me or what?

It's open like that because I was reading it cover to cover. Like a true mycological dork. 

Birdys' card. Each cake layer is topped by whipped cream and a cherry in two different places. Also, I am wearing a pink shirt as Birdy and I float aloft on our bunches of balloons, because I love pink.

Only if you play Agricola will you understand how brilliantly hilarious "Party even without room in your house" is. But anybody can appreciate the fact, because I'm telling you it, that Ben's drawing of our house is almost uncannily accurate. (Note: Even though it takes the better part of four years to learn, and then around 11 months to play, I cannot recommend that game highly enough.)

And this pink-hooded hoodie, from my insanely talented friend Nicole. You think I'm just taunting you with my good luck, but I'm not. Because look! She has put up a tutorial on how to make one your very own self! You might like to check out her new blog too, which she started with her co-author to support their forthcoming book, Improv Sewing. Storey Publishing asked me for a blurb on the book, and after I was all, "heartbreaking work of staggering genius" and "you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll die from the beauty and the wonder" they backed slowly away. But it is simply the most beautiful craft book I've ever seen. I'll mention it again when it comes out in the spring.

There was more, even, but I'll stop, because decorum requires it. But now, as Ben once cried the night after his, I have to wait 11 whole months for it to be my birthday again. Alas.


p.s. I forgot the whole reason I was posting today! Duh. It was to share this Kay Ryan poem with you.

As though
the river were
a floor, we position
our table and chairs
upon it, eat, and
have conversation.
As it moves along,
we notice — as
calmly as though
dining room paintings
were being replaced —
the changing scenes
along the shore. We
do know, we do
know this is the
Niagara River, but
it is hard to remember
what that means.


  1. Happy Birthday...2 Ewes...Happy Birthday...2 Ewes...Thank you for all the laughter you have brought into my life. I have 2 kids too and have been a big fan for the last 7 years :)

  2. Happy Birthday! everything looks so wonderful. Hope your year ahead is beautiful. love the flowers and the poem.

  3. Happy birthday! Sounds like a beautiful day. You go enjoy your mushroom spotting, now.

  4. Happy Birthday! The birthday cards are genius!

  5. Happy Birthday old friend. I know we have never met and you don't have a clue who I am but in some weird blogging way I feel like you are a very dear old friend. I hope you have a great year!


  6. Robin3:20 PM

    Birthday greetings. I always describe myself as being 100 years old.

  7. Erin K.4:01 PM

    Happy Birthday!

    That poem is chilling. awesome.

  8. Happy birthday and thank you always for your inspiring writing!

  9. thank you, dear one.

  10. Aw, happy birthday Catherine! It does look like it was lovely.

  11. happy happy day-after-your-birthday, it sounds most lovely and perfect. it's so delightful to be known and loved, isn't it?

  12. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Happy, happy birthday! From a huge fan of your writing and recipes!

  13. Jennifer LB12:20 AM


    Reason #782 to visit Ithaca. I can introduce you to the author of this blog:

  14. Happy Birthday! Oh the mushroom book...nothing says love like a book about mushrooms.

  15. Happy Birthday dear Catherine! I'm glad you had such a lovely day.


  16. tracey9:03 AM

    Happy Birthday to you, Catherine! Love that you now have your own mushroom guide, for keeps, and the fantastic cards Ben and Birdy made. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us - birthday and otherwise. =)

  17. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Happy Birthday, Catherine!

    Here's to your next 100!

  18. Happy happy birthday! Beautiful flowers. We have been mushroom hunting lately too. (And I am using "we" broadly here...more like, my father-in-law brings them over and cooks them, and I drink wine and eat them).

  19. Anonymous12:31 PM

    happy birthday! and you have the sweetest family. a very thoughtful celebration!

  20. Happy birthday, Catherine! I *love* the cards!

  21. Happy Post Birthday Day! Another longtime fan who feels like she knows you! BTW made your Peachy Peach Jam with almond extract (in super cute half pint wide mouthed ball jars) - so easy and good!

  22. casio4:20 PM

    I love that poem, I might just post it in my office. Is it okay if I substitute "Mississippi River" when I read it?

    Happy Birthday.

  23. Why happy birthday! We're saying happy 40th birthday around here today to my sister in law Suzie. She swears she's only 36. Hope your celebration was simply grand. The flowers sure were perfect.

  24. casio4:39 PM

    Answering my own question, "No". The story requires movement and the ending would be quite different on a different river.

    She probably wasn't writing an environmental wake up call, but my own tunnel vision created one.

  25. Jamie5:39 PM

    Happy Birthday to you! Hope it's the best year yet.

  26. Anonymous6:42 PM

    the mushrooms of northeast book, too much, that is true love and knowledge of YOU! I adore you, I adore your kids, I adore Michael... there is much much adoration for all of you, as always. Happiest of years ahead to you, our friend Catherine. A stranger loves you tons!(from 2kidslife)

  27. Happy Happy Birthday!!! The kids cards are so amazing.

  28. Kathleen10:15 AM

    Oh Catherine....Happiest of Birthdays...your words fill my soul with such are so dear....thank you, thank you !!

  29. I saw a funny comic strip that reminded me of you, and now that it is your birthday, I feel compelled to post it. It includes the theme of a mushroom that looks like a penis. Perfect, no? Of course, it will not post. So here is the link. Is it too much for me to expect you to follow this link to see it? If so, no worries!

    It's actually on the Facebook page of a great, funny, healthy food blog that I think you would love it you don't already know it. It is:

    Now I've posted a link to another food related blog, is that O.K.?

    I guess what I'm really giving you is 2 possible blog faux pas (faux pases? I think it's already plural, isn't it? Oy.) for your birthday. Enjoy!


  30. Happy birthday! It looks like you had a great day. Thanks for sharing your life and family with us. The recipes aren't bad either. ;)

  31. Happy birthday. I adore you.

  32. Marina12:16 AM

    Happy Happy Birthday dear Catherine. MIne was the day before yesterday, annoying situated basically in the midst of Yom Kippur (but it is only the second time in my remembered life that this has happened).

    You you you are one of the 'thankful for' items in my life -- Yay you -- and I wish for you all the wonderful fallish, 40-ish, cookie-ish, Pizza toast and motherhood joys that there can be.

    Oh-so-respectfully yours,
    WV Mama

  33. Happy belated Birthday Catherine! It looks like it was wonderful.

  34. Happy (now b) birthday. I look forward to reading your friend's book and dreaming about being one who sews.

  35. Happy happy year, since it is officially too late to wish you a happy birthday. You deserve everything good. Your words have filled me with such joy, relief and laughter, since the days of Babycenter, when my own two little ones were mere twinkles! Thank you so much for keeping it real and beautiful!

  36. Happy belated birthday! October is such a great birthday month (my daughter is 10/5). It looks like you had a wonderful day.

  37. ladidah7:47 PM

    happy bday! ooh, i saw that tutorial recently-- love your version!!!

  38. Happy birthday! To one who is so generous with her writing, cooking and humor. I always think people who like to cook and share recipes have a generous soul, and that goes double for you, since you share so much else besides. Many blessings to you!

  39. Catherine, there was a great article in today's Wall Street Journal talking about DIY crafting. It focused on a couple of people, and I half expected to see your hoodie in the picture.

  40. Happy belated birthday! You always remind me of something I have felt myself and always make me laugh (and sometimes cook!). I actually met you a couple of summers back in a candy store in Wellfleet (I recognized you and spoke to you like a true stalker) but you were so nice and friendly! No surprise there. I'm being all self-serving here too because I want to tell you about my blog, which is a pale comparison to yours but I hope you might find the time to check out one of these days. You are my idol and inspiration (just a little more weird girl stalk-y stuff). Thanks for everything!

  41. miryboo9:40 PM

    Glad you had a happy birthday. With the holidays coming up, I'm planning on asking for new kitchen gear. Do you happen to have a running list of the products that you recommend?? I haven't been cooking too much lately, what with a 12 week old! But I still very much enjoy your writing.

  42. Happy Birthday, Catherine! The blog is looking as beautiful as ever.

    The sewing craft book (and ultra-fab hoodie) reminded me that you might like this:


  43. Froilyn - Philippines12:46 AM

    Happy birthday, Catherine! Thank you for the wonderful posts that have inspired and taught me so much through all these years!

  44. Thanks for another excellent post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.