Birthday, dance ribbon, and socks

It’s been a lonely blog over the past few weeks.  Between prepping for a surprise birthday party for my cousin, and celebrating my own, and everything else in life, casa de revknits has been a busy place.  Let me summarize.

I had a birthday.  It was low-key but lovely, and I got a chocolate cake, so this girl was very happy!  Marie is making sure that I blow them all out!

Renee blows out her candles

My mom had, by then, gotten 2nd place in her assisted living center’s dance voting.  I’m sure that there was cheating or some voting scandal yet to be uncovered, or she would have gotten 1st place:

Mom wins 2nd place Dance Ribbon

But the event that has taken the most time was my cousin Marie’s surprise birthday party.  A little background.

We don’t do surprise parties.  Our family is not opposed to them, but it’s not something we’ve done.

Marie is my sister that I never had.  We have been there for each other, and through a lot of the ups and downs in life.   She, other than my Mom, is one of the few people that has known me since a child.  So, I was thinking of doing something bigger, since Marie’s birthday this year was a significant one.  Then one of her best friends, Charlotte contacted me with a plan for a surprise one, and I was in.  On Friday, her group of friends “kidnapped” her at work on Friday, and took her out to Bodega Bay to a lovely house (Bodega is where Hitchcock filmed The Birds) for a weekend away.  Then that evening I showed up as a surprise too, and we had dinner, took a walk, slept in, talked, and had lunch.  With the excuse that I had to get back to write a sermon, I left, then doubled back secretly, because we had a big surprise party planned with many more guests, including her husband, grown daughters, co-workers, etc.

Needless to say, there was almost a total meltdown with the surprise entry.  Just like in those movies, we shouted “Surprise!” and I think a lot of us were crying along with Marie as she discovered who was there.

One of the activities we planned was a “photo booth” with a laptop and French accessories to wear and have fun.  (I think this is genetic because we have pictures of our family from three generations back with proper Victorian garb on and paper bags over their heads.  Silly is just in our genes.)  Here’s me with the Birthday Girl (me on the right, of course):

French photo booth

And we had toasts, and quiche, and a lot of appetizers with champagne, cheese, wine, beer, and lemonade.  I did a slideshow of family photos set to music that was a hit. Everything was fun!  The “cake” was a French tri-color vegan cinnamon roll cake that was absolutely delicious.  It was decorated with raspberries and blueberries to continue the French theme.

Marie's lighted cake

I’m still madly working on Marie’s gift, which is the tiniest knitting I’ve done.  Good thing I know she loves my knitting.  It’ll be worth it in the end…

Other than the super-secret project, I’ve been knitting things for Afghans for Afghans. A few mittens, but mostly socks:

A4a socks and mittens
A4a socks
Those above have been sent along to help the packers do their work. The ones below are in the next batch. Yes, that red sock will have a mate soon!

Colorful a4a socks