Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Birthday Success

    Birthday wishes from unexpected places, including an hilarious "pumpkin butt" card from MCS (in sly reference, I imagine, to the fact that I did come in on a load of pumpkins, something most people prefer not to admit); a birthday call from the sister who sent the card; a strange little Halloween birthday puzzle emailed to me by a friend, which it took me a half hour to master, in part because I didn't think I needed to do anything, at first; birthday calls from a nephew and niece with whom I am particularly close; a beautiful purple/magenta/yellow flower arrangement from MFS which arrived on my birthday, as well as a DVD gift from her (arrived today) which delighted me into outloud laughter (for many reasons) when I opened it: A disc of three key episodes from The Dog Whisperer! This is one of those programs to which I've occasionally tried to steer my mother, considering how much she'd love to have us host a dog, but there is always something else she'd rather watch. No excuses now! I even maneuvered a hapless election telephone poll researcher into wishing me a "Happy Halloween Birthday" yesterday while he questioned me on upcoming election issues and collected my "stats", including birthdate.
    The dinner was perfect. The banana cream pie was a surprise. After discovering that I needed only half the bananas I'd bought, Mom and I discussed the ingredients and decided to "start small", since both of us are wary of pies containing bananas and/or "cream": Fresh sliced bananas and pecans only for this run, no ginger (might not work), no dates (might make it waaaay too sweet). We had to wait a couple of hours after dinner to approach the idea of tasting the pie, which we finally did, just prior to her retirement (at around 0100 this morning); very thin slices. Considering how much fresh banana I used and that I was insistent on finding (at a natural foods market) banana flavoring that isn't artificial, the flavor was, truly, that of banana. The pecans were an inspiration in this pie. They (which I cooked within the pudding) turned the pudding in to a sort of sienna beige, pretty color, and added a subtle nutty flavor to the pie. The pudding set up very well.
    Later, I decided to something I haven't done a few years, visit my favorite astrological charting site and run a solar return on myself for this year. [For a quick reveiw about my involvement with and attitudes toward astrology, see here.] Yeow! Hard to miss that indomintable Saturn (ruling, in the Solar Return, my third house of siblings and overt communication) conjuncting my midheaven this year, throwing strong squares my first house planets planets and forming the axle of a T-Square, which deposits into my 7th house of partnership and open enemies, through an opposition to Neptune! Discipline (Saturn) in the face of illusion (Neptune), ameliorated by companionship (of my mother, I assume) and openly acknowledging conflict (both 7th house issues), with the help of self-concept (Jupiter ruler of solar Second House), ancestors (Mercury, ruler of solar Eigth House) and friends, hopes, wishes and dreams (Mercury also ruler of solar Eleventh House) at the apex of the T-Square, which resides in the Solar First House! Wow! Well, that year has already started, that's for sure! I find it interesting that I've used the word "discipline" very recently, not only in this journal, when talking about myself and what I'm doing with my mother. I also find it interesting that I have lately been very focused, both in particular and in general, on relationships between caregivers and other relatives. Out of curiosity, after sleeping on that Solar Return, I decided to run a Solar Return for last year. It is dominated by a rigid Grand Cross in the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth Houses, riveted by Saturn (ruling, this time, the 5th house of creativity of all kinds, including procreation, play, artfully creative activities, etc.) in the Twelfth. Lots of frustration. This year's has a point of discharge, though, which is somewhat more optimistic.
    When I first compared the two Solar charts I was struck with the feeling that, looking back, I don't consider that I was unusually frustrated. In the course of last year, though, I exploded due to frustrations over my circle of familial relationships and its implications for my companionship with my mother. I find it interesting to consider that the explosion accomplished only my eventual acceptance of the situation. Perhaps, this year, that acceptance will not be an "only" factor; it will be the key to a recharging of my life as my mother's caregiver/companion within the circle of my family.
    Having said all this, above, I will be filing the charts away and forgetting them until my birthday next year prods me into my usual concentrated birthday fascination with myself.
    I checked on my mother at 1300. She asked for another half hour, despite the temptation of video delights awaiting us today (The Dog Whisperer and a rental copy of Sunday in the Park with George).
    We also received, yesterday, the collection of unusual iris bulbs I ordered a while back. I'll probably plant them this afternoon or tomorrow morning...most likely tomorrow morning. When they arrived yesterday, Mom was excited and up for supervising their planting today. I have a feeling, though, just from her reaction to my wake-up call at 1300, and the overcast weather we're having, today, that I'm not going to be able to get her out. They need to be planted quickly, now, so I'm sure I'll be digging around early tomorrow morning. Our yard is, finally, next spring and early summer, going to be a riot of irises, daffodils, tulips and a miscellaneous mixture of flowering bulb plants...assuming of course, that the javelina don't eat most of the shoots, as they did this year. I'm guessing they won't, since we've had a wet spring and summer, a wet winter is promised, so they will, as usual except for last year, have plenty of munchies outside the perimeter of our property. Here's hoping...

Originally posted by Mona Johnson: Wed Nov 01, 06:51:00 PM 2006

Gail, glad you had a good birthday. I've also received what I think must be the same pumpkin butt card as you did, although it wasn't a birthday card. Yikes!

And I didn't know about javelinas, but have now looked them up thanks to you.

Originally posted by Anonymous: Thu Nov 02, 02:12:00 PM 2006

MMMMMmm pie. Now, I really want some. I'm also glad you had a good birthday. A friend recently told me that astrologically, I'm going to have a crap year, horrific really. So I'm scared to look...

Originally posted by Granny J: Fri Nov 03, 01:09:00 PM 2006

You picked well! Javelina normally don't go for the iris (they've never touched mine), while daffodils are just plain poisonous to any critter. They truly adore grape hyacinths and tulips.
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