Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me - Sentimental Sunday No. 26

Cindy - 3rd birthday

Wow! 50! FIVE - OH - as in OH MY LORD... How did I get to be 50??

They say that fifty is the new forty. OK... Then, can I say that I am celebrating my fortieth birthday tomorrow? I guess I can say whatever I want to say - right? I'm 50... I'm an adult... I'm not getting older I'm getting better.... blah blah blah. Yeah, tell that to my knees and back when I struggle to work out the kinks each morning.

I guess I'm not dealing with this birthday very well. I'm not sure why. I suppose I am acutely aware of how quickly time passes; how fleeting life is; and how much I miss all of the special people in my life - especially at milestones like this. My Mom and Dad ALWAYS made my birthdays so special. We celebrated in style and I felt honored and loved year round - not just on my birthday.
Some of my favorite birthday memories:

6th birthday - I remember a fun party at my house with several of the neighborhood kids. Nothing about the day really stands out in my mind, but I remember how much I loved the dress my Grandma had bought for me to wear.
10th birthday - celebrating with dinner at Robaires in Los Angeles. My favorite restaurant for years - now long gone. As we were seated in our booth, my father looked over and recognized a man sitting there with his wife. The man was the social worker that had handled my adoption. He remembered my Mom and Dad, and it was wonderful for me to get to meet him - and for him to see the happy family that he had helped create.

15th birthday - seeing Elvis Presley at the Las Vegas Hilton. Wow! What a night. That has been a pretty hard one to top! We spent a lot of my birthday's in Las Vegas, and we always had a really great time. My parents and my godparents traveled in style. Must be where I get my "princess" qualities from!

21st birthday - Fantastic party at my godparents home. So much fun; so many friends and family. Good memories!

26th birthday - my first birthday with Richard. We celebrated with my parents, my godparents, and my brother. This was the last time that we were ALL together. My godmother had passed by my 27th birthday - and unfortunately my Mom wasn't too far behind her. But, I digress. The day after my birthday Richard took me to Hawaii to celebrate. We went to Maui, Kauai and Oahu. It was a fabulous trip with the man that I love!

30th birthday - I had an "over the hill" birthday party with friends. It was fun. Oh! If I only knew then what I know now... 30 is definitely not "over the hill", and I suppose when I am turning 70 and I will laugh at how silly I'm being about turning 50!

36th birthday - my first birthday as a Mommy! I love my son. He is the light of my life.

40th birthday - a fabulous party with a huge group of my girlfriends. We had so much fun together... dinner at a local restaurant, the Ram. I told them "no presents". But, one of my friends organized each lady bringing me one flower so that I had a huge gorgeous bouquet by the end of the evening.

I've celebrated 49 birthdays so far - #50 tomorrow. My friend Tom keeps saying this our 600 month birthday! Lord! That sounds even older...

Cindy - 4 years old

I'm celebrating in style this year - we're going to Hawaii. I'm 50, Hawaii is celebrating it's 50 anniversary as a state and it is the 50th state! I really LOVE Hawaii... so I guess I'm in pretty good company.

Aloha and Mahalo for the memories!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Like This...

From - isn't this a great idea for a table arrangement?
It's still August, but the weather in Salem has become a bit autumn like. So, my mind starts preparing for Halloween and Thanksgiving - even though they are still months away.

I'm definitely going to give this idea a try this year. Love it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dinner and a Show

Last night we went to Portland. Demetri Martin was performing at the Newmark Theater. If you are not familiar with his work, look him up on YouTube. Very funny, indeed.

Before the show we went to dinner at the Dragonfish Asian Cafe. Excellent food! The three of us shared a Rainbow roll, Mongolian Beef, and Grilled Bulgogi Steak. Delicious!

It was a really fun evening out for the Mulligan's. Every time we go to Portland we say, "We really need to come up here more often!" We always have a great evening - and this time, we didn't even get lost getting to where we were going, or coming back home. Like I said - really great night!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ballet - Sentimental Sunday No. 25

Cindy - 1980
I loved to dance when I was younger. I took ballet and jazz lessons. I performed in ballet productions, and was asked to audition in Las Vegas… but I was only 16 at the time, so that wasn’t possible. Because of my love of dance, my Mom and I truly enjoyed attending the ballet together. Each year, when American Ballet Theater came to Los Angeles, we would purchase tickets to see several performances.

The performance that stands out the most in my mind was “Firebird”. I couldn’t tell you who was dancing that day, or pretty much anything about the performance itself. The reason this day stands out in my mind was my Mother… and her unique sense of humor!

About half way through the performance the prince is explaining to his mother, the Queen, that he does not want to marry the princess she has chosen for him. Instead, he has met the beautiful maiden that turns into the Firebird, and he is truly in love with her. At this point my Mom leans over to me, and in very hushed tones asks me, “do you think he’s telling his mother he can’t marry the princess because he’s in love with a chicken?” A chicken!!! Only my Mom would make that comparison. Of course, she leans back into her seat with a totally straight face and I’m left doubled over in a fit of giggles! She had a way of doing things like that – usually at funerals – that would leave me laughing at inappropriate times.

The two very proper British women sitting to my right looked at me and announced, “Honestly! Some people have no appreciation for the arts!” Thanks Mom!! You got me again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Julie & Julia

What a delightful movie. Meryl Streep is so perfect as Julia Child. I was enthralled with her performance, but more so by the food - the recipes - the wine and the cheese. I'm hungry... and it's almost 11pm! I want to get in the kitchen and "whip something up". But I'll satisfy myself by highly recommending this movie.

It was so enjoyable. (and savory!) It's funny and sweet and you'll probably walk away wanting to get Julia Child's cookbook and make a few recipes. I love to cook - if you've never checked out my food blog - please stop by. Gumbo Ya Ya loves company and hopefully I have some recipes for everyone. Click HERE to come by and sit a spell!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Like This Idea...

Do you have extra scrapbook paper sitting around? Or any kind of decorative paper? You can create this fun wall art by decoupaging the scrapbook paper to small frames.

From Better Homes and Gardens

Paint the edges of the frames and seal your artwork with "Mod Podge". Looks like an awesome idea. I think I might just have to try it!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

T.V. Time with Daddy – Sentimental Sunday No. 24

I loved the times I had alone with my Dad. They were special times, and memories I will cherish forever. We didn’t have to be doing anything special… just spending time with my Daddy was all I needed. I loved crawling up in my Dad’s recliner chair with him; we would cuddle and watch television. I don’t really recall what shows we watched, but I know I was always happy and safe when we were together.
I do have one standout memory of us watching “Combat” together. It was on for five seasons from 1962 to 1967. I couldn’t tell you what episode it was; or when it aired. But, I can tell you that I enjoyed it – because it was time I spent with my Dad.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Minto Brown Island

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago - we've been walking... A LOT! One of our favorite places to go is Minto Brown Island. This large, 898.9 acre natural park includes open and wooded areas with many trails for walking, jogging, and biking. We love it because there are so many trails to walk on - and always something to see. Today we took our camera. Here are some interesting views from our 3.5 mile tour.

We discovered this old car off one of the roads last week. It's the reason we took the camera with us today. It's been stripped clean - and we have no idea how long it's been there. But, it was certainly an interesting photo op.

Some beautiful berries and plants along the way. We love to stop and pick a few berries during our walks. They are SO delicious, especially when they've been warmed by the sun!

Richard - early on during our walk. Still refreshed and smiling!
An inviting bench along one of the paths. We didn't take advantage of it today.
We already saw a new path today that we plan to take tomorrow morning. We're walking about 5 times per week. Usually about 45 - 60 minutes per outing. Minto Brown park closes over the winter and into early spring. What in the world are we going to do during those long months!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How We Met - Sentimental Sunday No. 23

Cindy & Richard - Lahaina, Maui - Aug. 1986

In October 1984 I was working at a bank in Hollywood and Richard was a Detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. A customer of my bank had been a victim of a forgery and my bank was involved in helping her retrieve her funds. Richard was the detective assigned to the case.

On Oct. 25th my assistant came to me to tell me that Detective Mulligan was on the phone to ask some questions about our customer. I began to tell her what she could and couldn’t say; but I ended up telling her I would speak to him. I answered the phone and he and I spoke briefly. He said that he wanted to come to the bank to show us some photographs. For whatever reason I “had a feeling” about this man. I so clearly recall running into the ladies room to check my hair and makeup. He later told me he “had the same feeling”. There really was NO reason for him to come and show us a photo lineup. The forgery hadn’t occurred at my bank. Why would we know what the perpetrator looked like?

In any case, Richard arrived at my bank around 11:30 a.m. and by 1pm he was still sitting at my desk. We clicked right away. As he left he asked me out. Our first date wasn’t until November 12th – but we’ve basically been together since the day we met.

About three weeks later I found that October 25th was the day my divorce became finalized from my first husband. (We were only married for six months, and neither of us had to appear for the final decree.) I remember telling my mom what a coincidence I thought it was that my divorce was finalized on the same day I met Richard! She loudly exclaimed, “Oh Lord! She’s going to think it’s another sign!” I did think it was a sign – and all these years later, I’m pretty sure I was right!

Love you honey!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Good Movie?? - Sentimental Sunday No. 22

When Richard and I had been dating only a short time, my Mom called me and told me that she and my Dad had seen the BEST movie and we simply MUST rent it. I asked her what the name of it was and who was in it. "It's called Breathless, and it stars Richard Gere," she replied. Ok great Mom! Thanks for the recommendation... and I went to the video store to rent it.

I told Richard that my Mom had recommended this movie to us - so after dinner we sat down and prepared to be "wowed!" We watched... and we kept waiting for the movie to get "good"... and we watched... and it really wasn't going ANYWHERE. In fact, there was one scene that I was a little embarrassed to be watching with my beau, and I got the giggles, because that's what I do when I'm embarrassed. Both Richard and I agreed that it was probably the worst movie we had ever seen.

The next day I called my Mom and told her we had rented and watched the movie and we both thought it was really awful and wondered what she and my Dad could have been thinking. She started laughing hysterically and said, "yup... it was pretty bad wasn't it!" She just thought it would be funny to make us suffer through the movie like they did and make us think it was going to be GREAT!

That was my Mom in a nutshell... probably the funniest person I've ever known.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Urban Legends

You've all received them. Those odd and sometimes scary e-mails that arrive in your InBox. The ones that warn if you combine Coca Cola with Pop Rocks you can die - or that Walt Disney's body is in cryogenic storage. Or some of those lengthy e-mails that quote a famous person as having given a particularly moving speech or what I would call an "On Your Soap Box" kind of speech.

Before you forward those warnings, and pieces of information that may be helpful or interesting to others, wouldn't it be nice if you could verify whether or not the information contained in that email is true - or not. Well, you can! Have you heard of Snopes.Com? I use it all the time. I really try not to hit the forward button until I've checked the information out. If you haven't used it - go there. Very interesting stuff! Click
here for the link.

Happy fact checking!
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