Friday, May 19, 2023

The Gifts of May, Including Celebrations



May is my favorite spring month, for many reasons. Partly because the view out of the living room window shows the porch covered in purple clematis, with the young Kousa dogwood across from it putting on more and more white bracts each year.


 Another gift of May is the gift of birthday cards arriving that I display on the kitchen shelf to enjoy all month long. Some of them are Mother's Day cards but even more birthday cards will be added when I celebrate it again when out of town and out of state children come in on Memorial Day weekend. 

I love stretching out a celebration, don't you? So don't feel sorry for me when I show you what I had for dinner on my actual birthday, frozen pizza. 

 That's right, I asked RH to pick up a frozen Screamin' Sicilian Pizza and fresh arugula because it's a favorite treat. I pile on the arugula as soon as the pizza comes out of the oven and drizzle it well with Greek olive oil and tons of freshly ground black pepper. And I think I had Cherry Garcia ice cream for dessert. 

It was a wonderful birthday full of cards in the mail, texts and phone calls and FaceTime visits, and one in person visit from my firstborn son who joined me for lunch. Didn't even think to get a picture then or when two grandsons dropped in on me that week

I had another birthday treat a few days later when my favorite way of entertaining occurred--when family brings the party to me! All I had to do was set the table.


Zack and Stacey brought my birthday dinner to me along with beautiful flowers for the table!

The dinner from Carne Mare in Nashville was fabulous, the Salt-Baked Florida Red Snapper for me (seafood lover) and various cuts of steak for the others. We had potatoes with rosemary and parmigiano and broccolini with garlic and oil and delicious salads.

And the signature bread along with birthday greetings from some of the restaurant staff. The bread is to die for!

And the most scrumptious 17-layer espresso cake with chocolate caramel mousse I've ever had, gilded cherry on top. I stole a picture of it from their website.

 I stretched out my piece for three nights and then RH gave me half of his. 

Even better than the dinner were the birthday hugs and conversation at the dinner table for hours. It was so much fun, something that even those of us in our eighth decade need. Maybe even more so, lest we forget. A big thank you to Stacey and Zack for a delightful evening!

 God willing, I'll soon be posting here in a couple of weeks about my second birthday dinner. Stacey, lucky girl, will be in Italy then so RH and I will be looking forward to seeing pictures of her trip when she gets home. Meanwhile, this mama is looking forward to having all her chicks come home to Nashville for another celebration. 

Because those are the best gifts of all, right?

Thank you, beautiful month of May!



  1. Happy birthday, dear Dewena! I love the month of May, too. What a beautiful month for a birthday! Your celebration looked absolutely perfect. The beautiful cards, loved ones around your table, and the! It sounded amazing. That cake looks unbelievably delicious. How incredible to have a cake with 17 layers. (Can you imagine making that?!) And now you get to have a second birthday celebration, how wonderful. xoxo

  2. Happy Birthday! Were any books involved? Chocolate caramel mousse sounds pretty awesome! I like May as well, because it is getting warmer but not suffocatingly hot, and it is flying by with two nephews about to graduate from high school and lots of related festivities.

    The author of the Emilie Loring book was in town for two events. One was held at the Boston Atheneum which you would love (I wish I could afford to be a member but they do allow guests at events) and although it was held on a weekday I took a long lunch to attend. Several of Loring's grandchildren were there but I could not stay for the reception; had to rush back to work.

  3. That is fantastic -- what a good beginning to your prolonged festivities! I also like stretching out these events.

    Happy Birthday!!

  4. Happy Birthday, dearest Dewena! Wishing you the best in health, joy and prosperity! What a fun and exciting month you will have celebrating your 80th! BTW, I had no idea it was your 80th; I always thought you were a couple of years younger than my mom who turned 79 this January! A milestone birthday, like any birthday, really, deserves multiple celebrations, indeed!

    From the lovely cards and phone calls to the surprise visits from family and the delicious, catered birthday dinner, you are sure having a magnificent month of May, my friend!

    Sucha pretty and elegant ambiance on and around your dining room table; the space is so inviting! I would have ordered exactly what you ordered, but after devouring that scrumptious looking bread, I probably would have skipped the main course to make room for that decadent dessert! How exquisite it looks! Having said that, I would also have been satisfied with your zesty, Sicilian pizza topped with arugula!

    Looking forward to all the upcoming festivities in celebration of the fabulously talented, sweet and beautiful birthday girl!


  5. Yes, May is a beautiful month, indeed. Happy Birthday, dear Dewena. What a nice gathering you had. I love all the cards displayed on your shelf. And that espresso cake looks amazing! I think half of it would suit me. A dear picture of you and your son, and a treasured photo you can keep to remember your birthday always. I love the purple flowering bush outside your window. The flowers seem to come alive this month. Keep celebrating your birthday all month, Dewena. With mother's day and birthday, May is my favorite as well. : ) I loved seeing your table setting and all the charming things in your house.


  6. Happy, happy birthday!!! What a wonderful May you are having!!

  7. Happiest of Birthdays to you, Dewena! Your celebrations all sound so lovely. I will have to remember to add the arugula to our Screamin' Pizza (we love it, too!) and I never thought to top it the way you do. Enjoy your month-long celebration :) xo

  8. Dear Sister,
    So thoughtful of Zack & Stacey to bring dinner to you! Your pretty table with candles & flowers were perfect! Dinner sounds delicious & the beautiful dessert is a masterpiece!
    Don’t you you just love family dinners with good conversations & no rush!
    You & RH look marvelous! Smiles on your faces indicate you enjoyed the dinner & visit.
    How loving & caring that other family came by around your birthday.
    And now more birthday celebrations to come with family , keep celebrating your 80th!!!
    I spotted my card on your shelf,
    again Happy Birthday!
    Love you💟

  9. wow, happy belated birthday and you are obviously much loved and honored in your house with your family. I enjoyed all the happy photos you posted and the food and you and your family and love the idea of the pizza with argula on it. The older I get the more i like frozen meals for instance...gotta share...Bertolli Chicken Carbonara to me is like going out to a fancy italian meal - it's delicious. Anyway hope to see part 2 in awhile.

  10. Sounds like you had and still have the most wonderful birthday celebrations. The pizza and arugula looks pretty tasty. I think the best part of celebrating a birthday is doing it with family. Glad you had that. Happy Birthday. Hugs. Kris

  11. Hope it's your best year ever, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You look wonderful and a delight seeing you with beautiful family. Oh my, the food too. Big Hug..................XO Tara

  12. Ohhh how nice... happy birthday to you, a little late but from the heart. You shall have much joy and love.
    Thank you for the wonderful photos you are showing us... a pleasure to see, thank you.
    I am absolutely delighted with the espresso cake... what a cake... the glory.
    But the best thing, of course, is being with your loved ones.
    hug for you

  13. A very belated Happy Birthday to you, dear Dewena. What a lovely way to stretch out celebrating. Much love went into your day, a reflection of the love you show others. Glad you could be with family, and have more family to look forward to being with (although they may have come and gone by now).
    Delicious looking food photos!

  14. I also meant to say that I really like your preferred way of eating pizza piled with greens. When I would make pasta for my husband, I would serve the meaty red sauce on spaghetti for him, and on greens for me. So the pizza idea reminded me of that...

  15. Happy Birthday to you Dewena. I enjoyed this post and the photos too.
    I love how you eat your pizza with the greens. YUM!
    I hope Stacey has a wonderful trip. How fun!!!