Birthday #52 was a satisfying day. I took a personal day from work and went to my favorite doctor for my annual exam. Birthday present #1: no need for a pelvic exam this year because they've always been normal and every two years is enough! She also wrote out a perscription for a visit to the chiropractor (we have one across the street from my workplace), who can then send me to a massage therapist for regular appointments. Yes, I'm making the plunge. Have decided that my frequent headaches are connected to tight muscles in back and neck. So help is on the way.
Birthday present #2 was a visit to Eddie B's, who had lots of slashed prices. Soft, roomy pajama bottoms and a big soft but heavy shirt for lounging around the house, which we keep at about 60 degrees during the winter.
Birthday present #3 was lunch at Sayat Nova, an Armenian restaurant first recommended to me years ago by good friend LaVonne Neff. This is the site of my first meeting with another good friend, Cindy Crosby. It's where I took longtime friend Kathy and her husband Ken Woods last year when they were in Chicago for medical reasons. It's small and cozy; their stuffed grape leaves are marvelous. I indulged in the house red wine, something Spanish and somewhat spicey. Thoroughly enjoyed their combo plate that included baked eggplant stuffed with ground and spiced lamb, the stuffed grape leaves, tabbouli, and green salad. Perfect.
From there I felt compelled to walk all the way down Michigan Ave. to Caribou Coffee for my free drink because it was my birthday. Dark hot chocolate and a cinnamon-sugar doughnut. This was possibly the day's only misstep; I wasn't hungry and didn't need all that sugar. How very slowly I am learning to say no.
Then the train back home. The day was chilly, rainy, and full of gusty winds, so I was soaked by the time I walked in the door. But, besides the ecstatic greetings from dogs and cats, there was present #4 on the dining room table, all wrapped and pretty: one of my favorite photos of Jim's, printed on metallic paper and framed for hanging. I had asked for this specifically, and it will soon be hanging in our entryway.
Throughout the day I was taking notes in my journal about the state of my creative life, plans for my blog, writing projects, seminary work, etc. This planning and dreaming/discerning stage will last until the end of the month. But I see all of it as possible, which is a definite shift from a month or so ago.
Another birthday gift: someone has generously offered to pay my seminary tuition for 2010. Blessings abound.
And then, to end the day, Jim and I boarded the train and went to Frontera Grill, one of chef Rick Bayless's restaurants and yet another gift for birthday #52. This turned out to be a high alcohol day for me: I had their two special winter drinks, a mojito with ginger added, and a margarita with cinnamon and plum--both quite successful. We had a special tamale appetizer, then Jim enjoyed the famous chile rellenos and I the skirt-steak tacos. Also, a crisp and juicy jicama-cucumber-pineapple salad. We finished with the two kinds of flan, one a Mexican vanilla and the other with cream cheese and tangerine, topped with candied tangerine rind.
We had a quiet ride back home, then made it to bed at a decent hour. Very nice.
Special note: Aphrodite's Notebook won't always be about food, but it will always be about things sensual, creative, full of beauty, life, and love. Enjoy!