It’s my party….and I’ll celebrate as I want to (now that the Memorial Cup is over!)

We’ve been so focused on the Memorial Cup hockey championship in our house that my birthday (today!) kinda’ snuck up on me. This 10-day national championship series was hosted by Kitchener this year. Building a team that would get the Kitchener Rangers (for whom Murray scouts) to the championship game actually began last year. In the end, the Rangers had what it took to get all the way to the final game against the Spokane Chiefs, but unfortunately things didn’t go quite as the Rangers’ team and fans had fantasized. Although the Rangers gave it their all and then some, in the end the Chiefs emerged victorious in a hard-fought game.

Needless to say, the mood’s been a tad sad around here since yesterday.

The Rangers had a brilliant season – ranked in first place across Canada for most weeks of the season, finishing in first place, then clinching the OHL championship to advance to the Memorial Cup as the OHL representatives.

Since only one team can emerge victorious, sports can be bitterly disappointing for those who participate as players or fans. But as Coach Pete DeBoer’s mom wisely reminded me partway through yesterday’s game, sports is also about entertainment, and the Rangers proved masterful at that. They provided their fans with a winning season of entertaining hockey. Hats off to a great team and a classy organization!

But back to me! It is supposed to be all about me today, right?! (LOL)

Murray and I don’t usually make a huge deal of our birthdays, but since May 26th fell on a Monday this year, and I don’t go in to work on Mondays, it would have made sense to have planned a fun way to celebrate the occasion. Instead, I’ve spent the day doing laundry, tidying up the house, taking my vehicle into the dealership to get a front end noise checked out, and answering emails. Murray and I are going out to dinner tonight, but if I’d had my act together and planned a day that included some of my favourite “things”, here’s how it could have gone……….

* Sleep in!

* Enjoy a breakfast of fried eggs (sunny side up!) and bacon, home fries, toast and marmalade, freshly squeezed orange juice and tea.

* Spend the morning at a spa.

* Hit Booster Juice for a Tropical Tornado or Canadian Colada smoothie or Starbucks for a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino.

* Head to a play at the Stratford Festival in Stratford or the Shaw Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake (neither theatre actually schedules plays on Mondays but remember, this is my fantasy day!)

* Enjoy dinner at a favourite restaurant in the Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge area – Hannah’s Bella Bistro, 20 King Street, King Street Trio, Blackshop, Charbries, Sole, any of the dining establishments in the Charcoal group of restaurants (to name a few!)

Since a fantasy day can be as long or as short as one wishes, I’d also want to include time to read a book, have afternoon tea at Langdon Hall, and go on a hike, then I’d end the day with friends and an ice cream cake or a platter of interesting cheeses, crackers and fruit, and a bottle of ice wine. (Notice that the day would have involved a fair amount of eating and drinking!!)

It might be too late to fulfill my birthday fantasy day this year, but judging from experience, I should really get a head start on planning for next year!

Chew Over These Birthday Cards!

Yesterday was Murray’s birthday. Although no longer the handsome young man I met 28 years ago, like fine wine or cheese, he has aged well and is now the handsome somewhat older man I am proud to call my husband! With him around, life is certainly never dull!

A few days ago, a cool birthday card came in the mail for him from my sister-in-law, brother and niece.

Inside the card: So on your birthday, Eat, Drink and BE MURRAY
(Created by DCI Studios)

The card elicited an extra smile from both of us since Murray is not a cat lover, although he does seem to have a special bond with Sam, the black Burmese-ish cat who lives next door and occasionally stays with us when his family is away.

Murray’s birthday was a low-key celebration, as our birthdays tend to be. Just him and me, out for supper as is our usual birthday tradition. He picked Charbries restaurant in Waterloo as his destination of choice. I reserved the table by the fish tank. Again, his choice.

“If our conversation becomes dull or we run out of things to talk about, we can always look at the fish,” he reasoned.

As it turned out, we were able to find something to talk about all the way from pre-dinner drinks through dessert! We also watched the marine life swimming in the wall tank beside us. It included tiny fish with flourescent blue stripes on their sides and a little shark that stayed motionless on the bottom of the tank nearly all through dinner. Our server told us she once saw the shark lying on his back with his mouth open and presumed the worst, but the next day he was swimming around again!

Dinner started with a four cheese soup for Murray and curried cauliflower soup for me. A Jonagold apple and cardamom sorbet cleansed our palates before the entrees were served – chicken in a wine sauce and roasted vegetables for him, and portabello-wrapped pork with chunky applesauce and roasted vegetables for me. We shared dessert – apple bread pudding with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Yes, we managed to eat, drink and be “merry”… Murray’s honour!

Speaking of honour, I was also able to find an appropriate card for Murray.

Inside the card: Actually, I honored you more than once.
(Created by Carlton Cards)