A Big Birthday + “The Realization”!

Yikes, this one is a biggie…

Let me start by saying – I’ve added another year to my life (thank goodness) – It’s crazy, because I feel like I did in my 20’s with the added bonus of wisdom, earned throughout the years. It’s pretty cool to be an age that seems impossible, yet it is. Yet, this story reads like something on Seinfeld (from those of you who watched that TV series from 1989-1998).

Continue reading “A Big Birthday + “The Realization”!”

Thankful for another trip around the sun…

🌸 Another birthday! 🙏

Thankful for another trip around the sun, especially with everything that’s going on in the world.

🌸 Note: Images will be returning to email notifications soon – WordPress is working on it!

Continue reading “Thankful for another trip around the sun…”

The older you get… the older OLD is!

Celebrate good times!
Celebrate good times!

A short post today… taking my birthday off, woohoo!

It’s funny, the older you get, the older “OLD” is!  Hey, it’s true!

When I was young I thought “old” was around 30, and then 40, then 50, now it’s 99+++! I imagine that number will keep going up as long as I’m alive. I still don’t feel my age, and for that I am thankful!

Celebrate the good times!  Catch you back here tomorrow!

A special wish…

Happy Birthday Dad!!
Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is my dad’s birthday… a super cool dad. I am so blessed. He is fun, creative, wise and all and all a good time! I wish my parents lived closer. But it makes you enjoy your time with them that much more. This photo was taken at a cottage we rented in Port Clyde, ME. What a wonderful week it was!

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y  D A D ! 

Scan 3

Hope you have the best birthday ever!

xoxo, me

And… just had to share a few of his sketch pad paintings… I have this book full of wonderful paintings mostly of Maine… it is more valuable to me than gold! You can see a few more on the past posts I’ve shared (below)… Hey dad, I think you should keep at this… you need a website… or a blog! I might know someone who could help you with that 😉

Port Clyde Fish House by Joe Fidler
Port Clyde Fish House by Joe Fidler

One year we rented a different cottage, and with it came a fish house that was quite amazing. We sat in the fish house each night and watched the sun set… What memories!

Port Clyde General Store by Joe Fidler
Port Clyde General Store by Joe Fidler

I could look at this forever! One of my favorite places, Port Clyde General Store. I think this would make a great postcard! It’s quirky, fun and what it really looks like!

Thanks Dad!! I will be calling to sing you happy birthday soon… this is your warning 😉


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Artist to watch… and a Happy Birthday to Joe Fidler!  (Note that I am quite creative with my titles, sigh…)

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Artist to watch… Joe Fidler and Happy Birthday!

Thursday house plans will start back after the first of the year – Catch you back here tomorrow!

October 7th… the 280th day of the year… and…


I would like to dedicate this post to my mom… have I mentioned I have an uber cool mom? Actually, I’m very fortunate that both of my parents are really happening… they’re actually FUN to be around.

Well, today is my mom’s birthday!

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y   M O M ! ! !

Now that the weather is getting cooler in your neck of the woods, you need to come back to visit for some of this…


and this…

Poe's Tavern!

and this!


Wishing you the best birthday EVER!! Love you so much! xxoo, me!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…     How did I get so lucky? (Mom’s birthday from a year ago)

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O… Happy Birthday Mom!

I think I deserve the day off… whaddaya think?


Today is someone’s birthday… and I hear she’s taking the day off… but, she’ll be back tomorrow… Same bat time… Same bat place…

Thanks to all of you who check this blog daily… you are the greatest birthday gift ever!

Enjoy your day!

My post from one year ago…  Birthday Candles, AARP and a Colonoscopy!

My post from two years ago…  What a cutie!! Happy day!

The Spencer Gallery in Charleston, SC just got a new artist…


The Spencer Gallery in Charleston, SC is loaded with all kinds of painting treasures. If you’re ever in the area I recommend taking a peak around! Bridget Jennings is new to the Spencer Gallery, and very excited to be a part of it!

She’s got a great website, so check it out! Here are a few paintings from her Charleston/Spencer Gallery collection:

"Stewart Fine Art" by Bridget Jennings [bridgetjenningsartist.com]
“Stewart Fine Art” by Bridget Jennings
I love this little painting! It’s so indicative of Charleston’s old buildings… it’s a new gallery in town…

"St. John the Baptist" by Bridget Jennings [bridgetjenningsartist.com]
“Cathedral of St. John the Baptist” by Bridget Jennings
If you’re ever in Charleston, you must pop in to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist church, it’s a beauty with so much history! She did a great job with this painting!

On another note… I wanted to wish Bridget a very Happy Birthday… Nifty, nifty, someone’s almost – ugh,never mind, hee hee! Bridget and I have had good times over the years, you may have read about the Orange Julius and popcorn days… It would be great if we lived closer… the South Carolina to Michigan drive is misery, especially if you do it non stop, by Ohio I’m ready to jump out of a moving car… don’t laugh, i’m serious!

Bridget capturing inspiration from Shem Creek – Mount Pleasant, SC

Happy Birthday little sister… Catch you back here tomorrow!

My post from a year ago… Italian Cream Cake recipe from Cooking Light… WHOA!

My post from two years ago… MANY HAPPY MEMORIES!

Four…? What…? Already?

Charlie - Age 4
Charlie – Age 4

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y C H A R L I E ! You are the coolest dog… ever! You keep us moving… constantly! Here’s to many, many more birthdays!

Charlie in sprinkler

This is a dog that knows how to live, ha ha… don’t you love how dogs just LOVE everything?

Charlie on his way downtown Clean Charlie... ha!

Summer at the beach with Charlie Charlie on "his" sofa...

Also wanted to say H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y  A J A X X (Charlie’s cousin)…


I plan on having a wild & crazy birthday!! Celebrate good times...!
I plan on having a wild & crazy birthday!! Celebrate good times…!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! Catch you back here tomorrow – woof!      xoxo, charlie

Happy Saturday! A gallery opening and a very special birthday wish!!


Well today is the day! The day of the opening of the Lupine Gallery on Monhegan Island, here’s an image and a blip from their Facebook page “Lupine Gallery” – oh how I wish we were there visiting!

Here at the Lupine, we’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces and new, so if you’re on island, stop in and say hello and see what exciting new art we have on the walls! And then join us for our annual opening party on Saturday, May 25 from 5-7, to welcome the 2013 season.

Happy Birthday!

I would also like to wish a very special someone… a very Happy Birthday! Bobbie Stroud, Fred’s mom… one of the sweetest people on earth! We wish her the happiest of all birthdays!! xoxo us

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

There is something about becoming comfortable in your own skin. In my opinion, turning 50 affords you that luxury. A luxury you say? Yep, a luxury! By age 50 you’ve become your own person who can be happy with the little things in life, you don’t worry so much about what others say and do. You learn that it’s not WHAT YOU HAVE it’s WHO YOU HAVE BECOME. It’s a lesson that can’t be learned in your 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s. I think at age 50 the lightbulb goes off and you finally ‘get it’. We are grateful for our health, thankful for our family’s health and blessed to have each other. Life. Is. Good.

Fred is the sweetest husband in the world. I wanted to spend lots of money have a big party to LET HIM KNOW how much I love him, how happy I am that he’s finally as old as I am (hee), I wanted to CELEBRATE HIM… BUT… I also want him to be able to retire one day, so I have restrained… (IT. WASN’T. EASY!) Bless me, hee!

Now here’s a photo of a kid who loves his cake! A kid, who is still a kid at 50 and STILL loves his cake. He just doesn’t eat it often, but when he does, he gets this big brilliant smile, oh how I love that smile!

I know I’ve posted this photo before, but I love it, and I love you Fred! Hope you have the best 50th birthday ever, and here’s wishing you FIFTY MORE!!

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y ! !

Catch you back here tomorrow!

How Did I Get So Lucky?

That’s my mom on the left, the one that looks like a movie star… then that would be me and my dad (just call me FLASH I guess!) and my grandma… we had great times in her pool! (Watch me! Watch me!). Today is my mom’s birthday and she hasn’t aged a bit… of course this photo here was taken in the 60’s, I am a bit taller, and I tend to not run around topless…

I’m not sure how I lucked out and got such great parents, but I did. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted. I thank God everyday for giving me the life I’ve got. My mom and dad are cool and happening, they always have been. They were so awesome growing up. My mom was so nurturing, but tough when she needed to be (“Go read a book” she would tell me… I DON’T WANT TO I would say… then she sat me down and gave me her first Nancy Drew book… I haven’t stopped reading since! Now, maybe she just wanted some time alone, ha ha… smart lady!)

As I got older and moved away (going on 23 years ago, boo hoo), she remained a mom with advice when I needed it, as well as a friend to share recipes with, to talk about good books to read, places to go, where to go out to eat and all that wonderful conversation that I absolutely adore. Even though we aren’t big talkers on the telephone (neither of us has ever been), when we do talk, once a week or so, it’s quality time… not always important info, but stuff that keeps us close. Oh how I wish we lived closer. I know how fortunate I am to still have my mom. Some kids never have a mom, or have a horrible childhood. Others moms are taken too soon. So thank you God for keeping my mom around!

How did I get so lucky? I have the world’s best husband, the best parents (and inlaws too!) and the funniest sister ever! I am truly blessed beyond words!

Mom, we wish you the happiest birthday ever! I hope dad makes you a wonderful cake! E N J O Y  Y O U R  B I R T H D A Y !  LOVE  YOU!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Birthday candles, AARP and a Colonoscopy!

You guessed it… Today I am 50! Hard to believe, because I don’t think I act like I’m 50. Actually to say “fifty” out loud sounds so foreign to me, it actually makes me laugh, which is better than crying, ha ha… Hey, I look forward to the future, 50 is the new 30 (and all you young people reading this that just rolled your eyes… Just wait, you go from 30 to 50 in the blink of an eye, time accelerates as you get older, I’m sure you’ve heard your parents, grandparents or any random older person say that at one time or another. I’m here to say. IT’S TRUE! So be happy for every day you have on earth…)!

Yep,  FIFTY birthday candles… enough to start a fire! Need a fire extinguisher nearby! Trying to think on the bright side… AARP. I can be a member now! Woohoo! Hey, I am excited about senior discounts now! If ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Did you know at age 55 you can get a free coffee from Dunkin Donuts? Get outta here! At 50 you can get a discount at Banana Republic (maybe because they know very few 50 year old women can fit in their clothes?)!

And oh yeah… the biggest birthday gift that you can give yourself… a colonoscopy! Help me out, I’m trying to think positive here… A good way to lose weight? I have a “consultation” soon.. Yippeeeee… I’ve read enough about it, am a tad worried I may starve to death, and NO MILK OR CREAM the day before, oh heavy sigh…. I can handle no food, but no cream means no coffee. That my friends, isn’t going to be pretty! I guess if that’s all I have to worry about, I’m doing great!

I know it’s going to be a fabulous birthday, Fred always makes sure of that. I love my birthday present, a Nikon Coolpix p510 with a 42x zoom, can’t wait to get it to Maine! WOOHOO!

Have a happy day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!!


Every Celebration Deserves a Great Cake! Italian Cream Cake from Cooking Light magazine!

Don’t you agree? Every celebration deserves a great cake! Well let me tell you from experience, this one is a doozy! I originally made this many many years ago when we had a surprise birthday party for our next door neighbor. She was surprised and delighted with the cake. And owie, that cream cheese frosting is too good! This recipe received rave reviews. We have also had this cake on a cruise that we took out of Charleston on the Norwegian Cruise Line… it’s nice that they offered Cooking Light options that were heavenly! I have subscribed to Cooking Light magazine shortly after they first came on the market… Great recipes! If you need a new magazine to check out, I love this one! (Cooking Light recipes may be found on the MyRecipes.com website). Now… for the recipe… then a special Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary message at the end…!

From the MyRecipes.com website:

Italian Cream Cake

This layered Italian Cream Cake is the perfect dessert for a birthday or dinner party because it is moist and full of flavor from the chopped pecans and cream cheese frosting. The stunning 5-star dessert continues to get rave reviews every time!

Cake Ingredients

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • Sugared kumquats (optional)
  • Orange rind strips (optional)
  • Kumquat leaves (optional)


  1. Prepare Cream Cheese Icing; cover and chill.
  2. Coat bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray, and dust with flour; set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine 2 cups flour and baking soda; stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in pecans and extracts.
  4. Beat egg whites at high speed of a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake layers from sides of pans using a narrow metal spatula, and turn out onto wire racks. Peel off wax paper, and let cool completely.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread with 2/3 cup Cream Cheese Icing; top with another cake layer. Repeat with 2/3 cup icing and remaining layer, ending with cake. Spread remaining icing over cake. Garnish with kumquats, orange rind, and kumquat leaves, if desired.
  6. Note: To make sugared kumquats, dip kumquats into lightly beaten egg whites, and drain; roll in sugar.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon light butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Cream butter and cheese at high speed of a mixer until fluffy. Add sugar; beat at low speed until well-blended. Add vanilla; beat well.

Cooking Light

Recipe and photo from MyRecipes.com website; Photo by: HOWARD L. PUCKETT


There are several celebrations happening today … My parents 54th wedding anniversary, my sister Bridget and brother-in-law, Bill both had birthdays (a day apart) over the past few days… ! The place has GOT to be festive!

Mom and dad, you are the best and I wish you another 54 happy years together!

Bridget and Bill… H A P P Y   B I R T H D  A Y ! Hope it’s the best ever!  I have no doubt that you will all celebrate well! Love you! xoxo me

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A beasty birthday!

The birthday boy, Charlie!

H A P P Y  3 R D  B I R T H D A Y  C H A R L I E !

It’s Charlie’s 3rd birthday today, boy how time flies! If you would like to be entertained by a funny blog accounting for the first year of LIFE WITH CHARLIE, click the link). Initially I created this blog because the only time Charlie would sleep is when I was sitting in my desk chair at the computer. He would curl up behind me and fall into a deep peaceful (for me) sleep… so I created a blog to vent entertain myself, then Charlie started getting people who wanted to know what was going on each day, it was a hoot… after a year he calmed down and I stopped the blog, but it was a great year!

Preparation for Charlie’s birthday hat photo shoot!

Charlie is going to have (another) good day! He’s been so much fun these past several years, here’s to many many more Charlie! May your birthday candles never blow out : )
Have a great day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Joe Fidler… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


This is a two part post… the first part is a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad. He’s the best… then, the Artist to Watch… !

Hey dad, I’m wondering how you are old enough to have a daughter my age, ha ha! We wish you the happiest birthday ever… You’re the absolute best! Miss you so much!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday, deeeaaaaar Daaaa-aaaad!

Happy Birthday to you… and many more!

My dad can do ANYTHING… some of the hobbies he’s had that quickly come to mind are… photography/developing photos in our basement, wine making (long time ago, wonder how that turned out?), rock polishing/jewelry making, canoe building, watercolor, oil, pen and ink, woodworking (beautiful jewelry boxes, lamps, wooden bowls, ornaments, you name it…), stained glass making… the list goes on and on… the man doesn’t get bored I can tell you that! A few years ago I gave him a sketchbook for Christmas, and told him one day when he filled it up with doodles, thoughts, etc he could pass it back (nice gift, eh?)… Perhaps this may have been the most stressful gift he’s ever received, ha ha… He gave it back to me less than two years later FILLED with gorgeous sketches, pen and ink and watercolor… I am sharing a few with you. He’s too talented. He needs a website 😉

I will share more with you in the coming months… this sketchbook is precious to me… I LOVE it!

Catch you back here tomorrow!