Tuesday, February 2, 2010

humility is not in my skill set

Today is Groundhog Day here in North America.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so we're in for six more weeks of winter.  I like winter, so I'm not complaining, and I'm also considering honoring Phil with a viewing of the Bill Murray classic film in a little while.  Can you call films from 1993 classic?  I hope so.

Today is also Candlemas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple or the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin as it is forty days after December 25.  In France, Candlemas is also Crepe Day, so it's a good day to be French.

Today is also World Wetlands Day, so care about the wetlands, officially.

On this day in . . .
. . . 1790 the United States Supreme Court convened for the first time.
. . . 1876 the National League of Major League Baseball was formed.
. . . 1882 author James Joyce was born and on this day in 1922, his novel Ulysses was published.
. . . 1931 Judith Viorst (author of the Alexander books) was born.
. . . 1947 Farrah Fawcett was born.
. . . 1953 Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) was born.
. . . 1977 Shakira was born.
. . . 1990 in South Africa the African National Congress was allowed to function legally.
. . . 1996 Gene Kelly died.

 . . . and most importantly, in 1979 I was born.

I am never afraid to talk about myself.  Never.  But I sometimes think there's something just a bit tacky about making a big deal about your own birthday.  We celebrate birthdays for everyone in my department at work, but when it comes time to celebrate mine, I feel silly saying what I want (and then I say anyway).  This sudden bashfulness, which I don't possess in any measure for any other aspect of my life, crowds me.

Lucky for you, imaginary readers, there's just enough disconnect in this form of communication that I don't feel the least bit bashful about blogging my birthday.  You're welcome.

So I'm 31 today.  In fact about I turned 31 at 10:49 a.m.  I started this birthday the way that I prefer to start each birthday.  A few minutes after my alarm went off but before I had made any effort to get out of bed, my phone rang.  My moma and the Popster sang the Popster's special birthday song rendition.  I can't describe it or recreate it.  But it's phenomenal and integral to the birthday process.  I get grumpy when my moma isn't the first person to call me on my birthday.  She's had to learn that one the hard way.  I make life so hard for my sweet moma.  But not today.  My usual thing to ask her when I talk to her is if she feels better today than she did however many years ago.  I was borderline afraid to ask her that this year since it's been a hard few weeks on my moma.  And before we hung up, she said the sweetest thing, that made up for 7 a.m. and being in my 30s and anything else that was going to make me grumpy, "I love you even more today than I did thirty-one years ago."  That woman is nonstop precious.

I debated taking the day off like I did last year, but I eventually decided to go to work.  Tuesday is a busy day for us, with six classes of students visiting the library throughout the day, and I hated to dump all of that onto someone else.  So in honor of my birthday, my delightful coworkers planned and put together a feast.  We had nachos piled with every good thing and a chocolate cake that was amazing.  I'm glad I showed up for it.  But I did leave early--just because I could.

Faithful readers will recall that I did the birthday with the fam a few weeks ago when we were together celebrating Pinkie's birthday, so I've already gotten some loot.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks because of my girl-crush on P-Dub.  Thanks, Shelle.  The new bathmat because I stained mine with hair dye a few months ago.  The ice pick because my ice maker leaks and creates a giant ice glob in the tray on a regular basis.  The Willow Tree because it's sweet and I'm sweet and my moma is sweet.Thanks to my moma and the Popster for all of that.    And that necklace because it's beautiful and there's a beautiful story for it.

 147millionorphans.com is part of a ministry that feeds children in Uganda and supports adoptive families.  Ugandan ladies make these necklaces out of magazines and sell them through this website.  It's an important work, and I don't have the words to tell you about it, so go here or here to read more.  In the meantime, my necklace is gorgeous.  Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law and kiddos for it.

There is more loot and, more importantly, more dessert still to come.  I'm spreading this celebration out as far as I can.


  1. Happy birthday, Ellen! Looks like it has been wonderful so far.

    -Nicole Mattox

  2. Sarah's dad recently puchased a copy of "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" of which he is quite proud (not sure how proud he would be, though, to know that I'm broadcasting that to your readership?). I thumbed through it during our recent snow day in Muskogee. I'm not sure NLR counts as the frontier, but I'm betting you could host some tasty dinner parties in your new place thanks to it.


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