Sunday, March 31, 2019

Catching up at the end of March

This month seems to have flown by at the rate of January and February put together. March is my favorite month of the year, and it's almost gone already!

I realized I never posted pictures from my little birthday get together(s). It was such a lovely weekend that I want to blog about it to remember it.

First up: I decorated the dining room with paper flower garlands purchased years ago from the dollar store, no doubt for one of my "girls' night" gatherings. I made lots of party food, which included ham ranch pinwheels, raw spring veggies with dip, strawberries and grapes, a fruity white wine sangria flavored with apple brandy, and of course the carrot cake I had bought for my birthday.

And Marla brought this little sweetie along with her, which was fun for us all. Martina gave the baby a tiny stuffed turtle, which she loved:

I got a lovely gift from Martina: a pretty basket with gardening cloves and wooden cooking spoons, which were handmade by a local artisan. Aren't they pretty?

The birds are Carolina Wrens, which is our state bird and also a species we see frequently at our backyard feeders. I love these and can't bear the thought of actually using them, even though they're supposed to be fine for use as long as you're willing to do a little extra maintenance. Carolina Wrens are also on one of the mugs I bought myself as a birthday gift earlier that day from the Wild Birds Unlimited store (I dropped in to buy seed in bulk for the feeders).

I love these bird mugs and want the whole collection. I started with these two.

The day after my birthday, I went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant with some of my book club friends: Marian, Rita, Karen H., Karen R., Paulette, and Kathleen. The place has wonderful margaritas and fresh tableside guacamole. I got a bunch of cards, and one gift of a tiny stuffed narwhal from my friend Karen H. It puzzled me at first.

Then Karen reminded me of something I shared on Facebook the other day that she particularly enjoyed:

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When she saw the tiny pink narwhal, she thought of me. I love my friends!

After the birthday weekend fun it was hard to go back to the grind of work last week. We still haven't had our spring break yet, because it's tied to Easter which is very late this year. We also had a few long weekends taken away since Christmas because we had to make up some of the days lost to Hurricane Florence. The kids are wilder than ever and everyone is fed up and sick of being at school (the staff too!). Good Friday (our first day off) can't come soon enough!

I start a conversational Spanish class on Tuesday. Keeping up with my lessons on my own has proved challenging to say the least and I think the structure of taking a course will help me reignite some enthusiasm for continuing to learn. We have lots of parents at the middle school who only speak Spanish so there's a real need for it at work. The adult education center connected with our school district is offering the course for only $35. Classes are from 5-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all of April and May (with the exception of the week of spring break). I'm really looking forward to it!

That about finishes up what I've been doing/thinking about this month! It's so beautiful outside right now. Our screened in back porch has become my "happy place" and I spend hours every day sitting out there, enjoying the mild spring weather and watching the birds at our feeders. Spring in South Carolina is something to see.

The view from our driveway.

Our neighborhood is filled with blooming wisteria.

Our dogwood tree out front is blooming.

View from our front door.


  1. You can't beat the sight of fresh spring blossom. Our plum tree has been in blossom for several days now with no wind to blow it away. It makes me think that this year will be a good one for plums. (I love the little narwhal - a thoughtful gift)

  2. You seem you have had a lovely month, you deserve it.

  3. WOW! my daffodils are not even blooming yet and you have wisteria (I have crocus only; the snowdrops have come and gone)! looks like you had a lovely birthday too. spend as much time as you can on that porch with marco.

  4. The first birthday and the first spring you have spent at your new house. How wonderful! You DO have amazing friends and obviously, they love you. I totally understand why. You are a precious person, Jennifer.
    I'd have qualms about using those beautiful wooden cooking spoons too. They are indeed works of art. But they are made to be used and you probably should. They'll make you happy every time you do.
    I congratulate you on learning Spanish. More proof of your so-obvious good soul.
    The only thing prettier in this post than your wisteria is that baby.
    Keep riding the narwhale. And keep that little pink one close at hand.

  5. You certainly are right about spring in South Carolina. You certainly have your new house put together and being a home. Good for you; good job.

  6. Your neighbourhood looks really good. Our Wisteria is not yet fully in flower, but most of our fruit trees are thick with blossom. What a beautiful time of year. My advice with your Spanish, is to listen to Spanish radio whilst doing banal chores around the house.

  7. Wow, look at that wisteria! Beautiful! I love the fact that someone even makes a stuffed narwhal toy. Those spoons are amazing. I think I'd frame them.

  8. Love wisteria, mine is about three weeks behind yours.

  9. Love the narwhal! Nice neighborhood. My wisteria stopped blooming about three years ago, so I've been replacing it with climbing roses. Oh, and I see you got a Mumbai escort comment. I got one, too. Deleted it.

  10. So happy for you that you had such lovely birthday gatherings and presents - a bit like my own, really! And I am still sorry that time ran away with me and I didn't send you a birthday card this year.
    Spring is indeed such a wonderful time of year, isn't it. The cherry tree in front of my kitchen window is about to burst into bloom any moment now. Other trees in the gardens in my neighbourhood are already in blossom, as are little clusters of primroses everywhere.

    1. PS: Just wondering whether your employer may chip in with the cost for the Spanish course, seeing as you need it for work?

    2. Never mind about a birthday card! You're a dear friend. 😊 The Spanish course is very cheap, and I don't really need it for work...we have two or three people who speak Spanish on staff...I mainly want to learn more for my own personal continuing education! It will be helpful at work, but not absolutely necessary.

  11. What a beautiful post! In so many ways.

  12. I too enjoyed the photos of the party and the yard.