Sunday, February 3, 2008


Thank you all so very much for the wonderful birthday wishes! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to pop by and leave me a message.

It's time to pass it on; today is Anne's birthday, so if you get a chance, head on over to her blog and wish her a happy day. There are pictures of two of her newest projects, as well, to tempt you and get you in trouble (at least, that's what always happens to me -- thanks, Anne!).

Yesterday was a perfect day. It wasn't quite what I'd expected, but exactly what I needed. We decided not to make the drive into the mountains; between a long week full of sitting and meetings and email, I wasn't sure I was up for four hours of driving to get there and back. So Rick devised a Plan. He said we were going somewhere in the morning, and wouldn't tell me where. I gamely agreed (much relieved when he did not suggest I wear biking shorts; at least I knew I wasn't going to be dragged up an impossible hill in the name of potential views). Prior to the trip, I was served breakfast in bed by Rick and the girls, which has to be one of my very favorite treats, especially when it involves bacon and a perfect soft-boiled egg (runny yolk, but no snotty whites). We then loaded into the station wagon and off we went. Of course, I had to try to figure out where we were going. The fact that we were in the station wagon was intriguing; we usually save that for trips that require it, and take the smaller car instead. We wouldn't have needed the wagon for a spinning wheel, and we were headed south, away from anywhere I know to get a wheel, so it wasn't that. We didn't pull off at the REI exit, which argued against sporting equipment, and Rick hadn't told me to wear hiking shoes, so it didn't seem that we were heading on an outdoor excursion. I was stumped.

I was even more stumped when we got off the freeway in Encinitas and began driving around a neighborhood. My stumpedness lasted until we pulled up in front of someone's house, and sitting there in the front yard was...(I so wish I had a picture here for you, but it hasn't stopped raining all morning and I'm not going to go stand in the rain with a camera to get a picture)(is the suspense killing you yet?)...a sea kayak. A beautiful, bright yellow sea kayak. Complete with paddles and a seat.

I can't tell you how excited I was. I have been wanting a sea kayak for ages. I have enjoyed playing on my sister-in-law's mother's kayak immensely when we are in Michigan, and have so wanted to try one in the bays and lagoons here. I've also heard that, given calm water and a good launching site, going out into the ocean can be amazing. And Rick found me one on Craig's list and took me to buy it. Wow. It's a very nice one, too, a single-seater, but long enough that I could put Younger Daughter behind my seat if she wanted to come out on still water with me. Talk about a perfect gift, and totally unexpected, which made it even more fun.

It is, alas, far too cold right now to head out into the ocean, especially as I have no wet suit. So the only downside to receiving this gift is that I'll have to wait a while to play with it. But we went and bought a life jacket and scoped out various launching sites at Agua Hedionde and Oceanside Harbor, just so that we'll be ready at a moment's notice should we get some warm weather. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

I thought it was all done at that point -- what could be better than breakfast in bed and a sea kayak? -- but no. We went home for a relaxing afternoon. I read, I took a small nap, I knitted. We went for a walk all together around the neighborhood. Then we got gussied up, and headed out to my very favorite fancy-schmancy restaurant for dinner. The girls behaved beautifully, even though, true to the owner's French origins, meals there are totally unrushed. The four of us talked, and watched the other patrons covertly (people watching is a favorite pastime of mine; aren't humans interesting?), and savored our food, and generally had a spectacular time. I didn't even have to pull out the emergency pens and paper I'd brought (I may put the girls in situations with potential for difficult behavior, but I refuse to set them up for failure; we'd made early reservations, they'd had naps and a walk, and I had backup entertainment available). And, although I'd been sure that the sea kayak (!!) would be my only present, Older Daughter gave me a gift certificate to the Loopy Ewe, and Younger Daughter gave me the mailing receipt for a set of KnitPicks Harmony interchangeable needles (which, paired with my sister-in-law's gift of Harmony sock needles, means that I'm pretty much set for life). Between all your good wishes, and all of Rick's plans, I ended they day feeling thoroughly spoiled and loved and taken care of.

I've told Rick that he's earned himself another few years of marriage.

Today looks to be a good follow-on. It's been raining non-stop since the middle of the night. I've turned the heel and am halfway down the foot of the Serendipity socks from the Rockin' Sock Club, and am pleased as punch with the way the short-row heel turned out. I'm glad to have one that I like to add to my repertoire, especially as Rick prefers the look of short-row heels. It looks like there will be plenty of time to work on Gust this afternoon, while playing the Settlers of Catan with the girls and making soup. I am not thinking about work at all. Tomorrow will be soon enough for that. For those of you who are watching the Superbowl, have fun!


Helen said...

Very happy belated birthday wishes; I was away and am just catching up. What a lovely husband you have; does he have spare brother? Or maybe a Dad?
We don't have the Superbowl here, but we are beginning some incomprehensible (to me) rugby tournament. All I know is that today Scotland got beat :(

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the best birthday to me! and I love people watching too, I think they are the most interesting subjects to watch!

Anne has many sock patterns with short rows heels if you need one for Rick (I am quite certain he deserves a pair!)

Willow said...

What a lovely birthday! I took your hike for you yesterday as your birthday present from me. :)

Yes, the terrain is gorgeous. I love love love living and hiking in Southern California.

Anonymous said...

Wow, score! Sounds like a great birthday!

hopalong682003 said...

Oh!!!! I'm so happy that you had a wonderful birthday. YOU are a gift. BTW, which French restaurant do you like? My husband and I are lookng for one to try on special occasions. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! - Bets

Bea said...

Yay! Sounds like you had a super day. A yellow sea kayak sounds infinitely cooler then a sea kayak. But that could be something to do with the Beatles songs that Chris had playing in the background all day yesterday...

"they'd had naps and a walk" - ummm...this sounds like what I do for the doggies before we go somewhere...which therefore reminds me that I never told you guys that Gus was back to the vet on Saturday... I was hoping to go at least two weeks with out popping in there.

Nana Sadie said...

What a delightful birthday! Tho' Kayaking isn't my thing, it's wonderful that you can now enjoy it in your very own!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful birthday! Sounds like it was just perfect--definitely one to remember.

Marianne said...

A perfect day, indeed! AND to get another pretty perfect day? That's celebrating your birthday!
I'm always 'watching' and yes, humans are interesting.... and curious :^)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

It sounds like you had a perfect day. It makes me want to go visit CA.

I hope this week goes as well :-)

Courtney said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! Happy belated birthday.

Rachael said...

while there is not enough money in the world to convince me to get in a kayak and they scare me enough that it even worries me to know that you are going to do it! it all has to do with an exboyfriend and a very close call which was probably entirely due to the situation he put himself into and not at all kayaking itself, but I DO GO ON.

I am totally thrilled to see that you got something so perfect and totally unexpected! What a happy thing and it sounds like you had a lovely birthday in general - YAY!

Stell said...

happy birthday belatedly, and a sea Kayak would top any spinning wheel any day. You are lucky, lucky. Now - the sea one is the one that isn't mean to roll over, it is more stable isn't it?


Alisha said...

Happy Belated Birthday wishes!!

Sounds like you had yourself a great day!!!

Truly perfect!

All the best!