Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Birthday is on Sunday

Psalm 62:5-6

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

       my hope comes from Him.
 He alone is my rock and my salvation; 

       He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

I was born on Sunday, and it always seems a bit special to have my birthday land on Sunday.  It doesn't happen very often.  So we were sitting in church and after the sermon, as we are getting ready for communion, they start singing Be Thou My Vision.  Now this is my favorite hymn, and it feels like a birthday present from the Lord, and then I remembered that it happened once before - the church singing Be Thou My Vision on my birthday.  At that I felt certain that the song was a birthday present from the Lord and I started to get very teary-eyed and shaky.  Not only did we sing Be Thou My Vision, but we sang all of the verses, which is not at all common.  So for me that was a real delight and it felt so special.  Even if nothing else went right for my birthday that made up for anything.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

But I had a lovely birthday.  We all went for coffee and pastries at the Fleur de Lis after church.  Then Riley and I stopped at the store and bought things for dinner and went home and relaxed for a while.  I was working on my daring baker project, but I can't say anything about it until the 29th.  Then at 2:00 we went down town to go to the art museum and see the exhibit on Degas, Forain, and Toulouse-Lautrec entitled The Dancers.

When we went to pick up our tickets to the exhibit Riley informed me that one of my birthday presents was a years pass to the museum for the two of us. I am also allowed to bring with me for free anyone under the age of 18, so that means that I can bring Christian and Emily. Christian has never been to the museum and I'm pretty sure he's interested in going, once at least. This exhibition on the dancers was very informative and focussed on the paintings relating to their way of life rather than the actual performances. One often sees in the pictures rich men dressed in fancy dress. It turns out that they are what was known as abonnes. That's a polite term for men who sponsor dancers in return for having them as mistresses. The really shocking thing is that the the arrangements for the sponsorship was typically made with the mothers of the dancers, who were usually girls from the country. These kinds of pictures are typically seen in museums rather than as prints for sale.

We got home and guests began to arrive or were already there. Heidi was there having set the table for dinner and she was working on straightening up the living room, which was very nice because it is her daughter who made the mess. Annie was working on the pavlova, which did prove to be a very difficult dessert to make. I did some more work on my daring baker project and then sat down in the living room. Ken and Marilyn arrived and while sitting with guests in the living room it suddenly dawned on me that if I didn't get working on the dinner it probably wouldn't come together. It's not easy being the Mom. The only way I'll ever get a completely work free birthday dinner is to eat at restaurant. But I love a family dinner at home.

So Marilyn and I went into the kitchen to get the salad together. It turned out to be a wonderful salad.

Fruity Green Salad

green leaf lettuce, washed and torn up
2 bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced up
2 yellow tomatoes, diced up
2 green onions, diced up
two small containers of mandarin oranges, juice reserved
(these are the kind that you take in you lunch)
2 avacados, diced


the reserved orange liquid, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoon hunk of red onion

Put the dressing ingredients into the blender and put on full wack for several seconds. Place in a small pitcher with a ladle.

Somehow in all of the kitchen work Riley is also working on his steak and then, out of the blue, clam dip. He's a dear sweet husband but he feels like a bull in a china shop in the kitchen. It's like he's too big for the space. But eventually the steak was done and resting, the potatoes were finally just about done, and we all sat down for salad and bread for the first course.

Zac was very anxious for me to open his present, so I did ... during the salad course. He gave me a lovely deck of see-through cards. And during the course of the meal I opened my presents. Annie and Heidi gave me a gift certificate to Dosha for a facial. Sarah and Zac gave me the movie Miss Potter, Ken and Marilyn gave me a package of sweet peas seeds, Riley gave me (among other things) an iPod case, and Corey gave me a lovely Toile de Jouy gardening apron with many pockets. Riley also, earlier in the day, let me order Jamie Oliver's book Jamie at Home from Amazon UK. I love his cooking show by the same name.

Then after dinner I went in to help Annie with the pavlova. The meringue was very soggy, and very hard to get off of the parchment paper, and instead of having two pavlovas, we piled one meringue on top of the other. At that I went back to the dining room. Then it was finally ready, the candles were lit, and the cake was brought in. It looked gorgeous! Never mind all the problems. We ate it all up save one tiny bit that was left. Everyone enjoyed it.


Cakelaw said...

Happy belated birthday Molly! I liked Jamie's series too; it made me long to sell up and go and live in the country.

hi!monkey said...

happy bithday a wee bit late. it's sounds like the prefect celebration to me!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Thanks for the happy birthdays. And monkey thanks for the reminder that March 14th is pi day. I think I'll look for a new pie to make. And cakelaw, I think that Jamie must have the absolute perfect place to live.

hi!monkey said...

my pleasure! π day is the only holiday in know of that combinds the tasty goodness of pies and geometry!