Carla and Her Very Big Awesome Amazing Phenomenal Spectacular Wonderfully Good Day

Today’s my birthday …  I’m having a good time … not just any birthday … it’s the big one!   If you didn’t recognize, that’s my version of The Beatles song, yeah, you know which one.  This birthday is the big one, the big 5-0.  Old enough that I am now being stalked by the AARP, which was a shock to my little psyche.  I’ve been getting letters from them for several months now, so while the shock has worn off, I still rip them to shreds in protest.  Yep, I’ll fight it all the way, me and my Oil of Olay.  Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to open one of these letters and see what the fuss is all about.  I hear it’s about money, so I’m cool with that.  Yes, I am a member of the 50+ club now.  So,  all you youngsters out there, quit your laughing – the AARP will some day stalk you, too! 

It has been a nice day … it started out with a Happy Birthday from hubby (first words I heard today), then off to work.  Next, an office decorated by my evil co-workers with streamers, each sporting a big “50” at the bottom, and Over the Hill signs taped everywhere, along with an unbelievable breakfast feast.  

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 Guess they’re not so evil after all.  You see, while I officially work in the legal department, my office is in the same section as the HR Department, and you can’t get anything past those guys – they know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE.  Age is only the beginning!   I was quite the celebrity, absolutely everyone stopped by and commented on this being the BIG ONE.  My secret is totally blown.  I will never be able to lie about my age!

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Then my parents called, and I received beautiful flowers from my sister & her family.  Next, home to lovely presents (GPS accessories for my car, and books) and sweet cards (ok, and a couple of not so sweet cards, but they were dang funny!) from hubby & kids.  Then, more calls and e-mails from family & friends.  I had already received other presents from family at Christmas, ’cause as you other December birthday people out there know, it just makes no sense to send a birthday present when you are visiting the birthday girl at Christmas!  That has never bothered me like it does some December people I know.  I always loved it, because it just makes the holiday last longer for me! 

The pictures below:  Sara gave me a composite of pictures we took when we went to the Arboretum  together last Spring (you can spot these same pictures in my early blogging days … say, May 1st, 2008).  Guess she loves me!  Daniel picked out the card he’s holding which has the number “50” and the word “poop” – so you know he loves me, too!

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 Alex is not pictured, because he is in Austin, but he called and sang Happy Birthday to me, so love all the way around. 

Lovely day … I think I’ll have another birthday tomorrow!

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Turkeys & Loose Skin

Here’s my motley crew at the truck stop on our recent trip.  A truck stop is the only place you can guarantee finding potties and a wide assortment of healthy junk food – like peachios, for instance.

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Peachios are a must on every family trip, except this truck stop was out of peachios.  Alex opted instead for strawberrios & applios or some such otherios (well, not Cheerios, as the days of satisfying my children with a baggy of sweetened Cheerios have long since passed).  Sara went for cheesy popcorn and ultra healthy vitamin water.  Daniel was even healthier with a double dose of fruit snacks.  Only rubbery fruit & cheesy corn will do nowadays. 

Before we raided the snack isle, of course, we checked out the potties.  I certainly won’t go into particulars here, except for the hand dryers.  You could hear the dryers from the other side of the store … I SAID YOU COULD HEAR THE DRYERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORE.

Sara was the first to experience the master-blaster-blow-the-skin-right-off-of-your-hands hand dryer up close.  She freaked.  Then I used the hand dryer.  I freaked.  The hot air blows so hard that skin swims around the top of your hands!  Alien sci-fi stuff!  If only I had shot a short video of our hands under the dryers, but I’m not inclined to take out my camera in a truck stop bathroom.  Someone might get the wrong idea, and well, eeewwww.  I’ll leave that to the authorities. 

No, that wasn’t the highlight of the trip.  Of course, the highlight was the turkeys … I mean, the family!  Just teasing, beloved family!!!!  We had a great time, and of course the highlight was our visit with Johnny’s extended family, and the turkey & trimmings.  I just realized that this mid-trip break at a truck stop is a ritual on our family trips.  The truck stop, the trucks, the truck drivers, the junk food, and the strolling around looking at all a truck stop has to offer.

Turns out, truck stops have plenty to offer.  Sometimes we have to turn a quick corner down an innocuous isle so Daniel doesn’t contemplate too long a particularly meaningful phrase on a t-shirt or a cap.  Gotta keep his mind on the fruit snacks and out of the gutter, you know.