Yesterday I turned 31.
It was absolutely the best day that I could possibly have asked for. Usually we laze around for most of the morning, but Kurt encouraged me to get up so we could get going. We headed out to the Pawtucket winter farmer’s market, where for lunch I ate a delicious crepe (made with buckwheat batter and filled with spinach, cheese, and scrambled eggs) while also stealing half of Kurt’s rabbit hot dog. Yes, folks, I ate rabbit. It didn’t taste any different from, say, chicken, but what I loved the most about it was the fixin’s on top. The vendors had added this apple and celery root slaw with a sweet sauce, I think it was cranberry, and the flavors melded together perfectly in my mouth. Yummmm.
That farmer’s market is scarily huge. It’s in this old textile mill in Pawtucket, near Providence. There are so many vendors there, it’s crazy. We got there at 12:30 (I’ll explain why we were so late when we ostensibly got an early start), and the place was absolutely packed. It’s kind of a bad layout, the way the market is set up. There’s a long hallway that traverses the mill with rooms off on either side of the hallway. Some of the rooms are homes to various stores, while one room is taken over by people selling pre-made food, sort of like a food court. But the hallway is where the vendors are, lining either side, so if you stop to look at something, you’re impeding the flow of traffic. That, and people are idiots and they don’t look around them when they try to merge into traffic. I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop dead with ME’s stroller to prevent it from running into the back of someone’s leg who cut me off. Gah.
But it’s worth it. I love all the things for sale. There’s one farm that sells loads of winter produce, and the last time I went, we grabbed some gorgeous parsnips and some really yummy carrots. And that same farm pickles these spicy dill beans that are to die for! Green beans picked with dill and cayenne and herbs, so spicy that you start sweating as you eat them. So, so good. Of course, I had to get another jar. Besides, I’m supporting local producers. Score!
As if that weren’t enough, we stopped by one of my favorite antique stores up in Massachusetts, one where it’s a huge store containing stalls owned by many different vendors. I almost walked out without buying anything (shock of all shocks), when something drew me to a collection of cookbooklets languishing on a table in the basement. Several booklets down, I spotted one called “10 Cakes Husbands Like Best.” I immediately snatched it up, as that is the name of a forum I belong to consisting of my dearest friends — named after that very cookbooklet.
On the way home from Massachusetts, the check engine light came on in the minivan, but even that wasn’t enough to cast a pall over my birthday. Kurt ran by the auto parts store to find out what the code meant, did a wee bit of troubleshooting, determined it must have been a glitch, and reset the light. I love having a handy husband!
And yet my birthday was just beginning. I threw a chicken in the oven for my family to eat, and two of my girl friends here in the neighborhood took me out to dinner and to have drinks. Wayyyy too much tequila was ingested in the form of a couple of pitchers of margaritas, one being the normal lime flavor and the other being this wonderful hibiscus-infused concoction. Of course, that wasn’t enough for us, so we wandered down to one of the fancy wine bars down on the wharves, where we had another drink called a fire dancer. I looked it up this morning, and what it boils down to is more tequila.
No wonder I pretty much went straight to bed when I got home.
I was really so wonderfully spoiled yesterday, and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. And I haven’t even gotten to presents!
Look at that loot! The impossibly adorable apron is from my sister, the gold disk is actually a hand-formed glass suncatcher with various New England motifs embossed on it that my dear friend presented me with last night, and the wee little thing on the right? That, my friends, is a smartphone. A Samsung Moment, to be precise.
Kurt presented me with a small stack of presents as soon as I finished getting ready to go yesterday morning. He told me I had to open the largest one first, and as I sat on the couch to open it, he grabbed me around the shoulders and murmured in my ear, “Please don’t kill me please don’t kill me please don’t kill me.” How am I supposed to want to open a gift with that sort of beginning?! I was starting to wonder if he’d bought me a rattlesnake or something.
I ripped off the wrapping to find a new cell phone in the box. I looked at him in confusion because I didn’t need a new cell phone. Then he began to explain, and he told me he was frustrated that I wasn’t always able to get a WiFi signal on my iPod Touch, and now I can check things on the internet wherever I am. And yes, he upgraded our plan so that now we both have unlimited data.
This phone is So Cool. Not only do I now have a decent camera phone (I have massive envy of the iPhone’s camera) and the ability to get on the internet wherever I am (not that I really need to) while keeping the slide-out QWERTY keyboard I love on my old phone, but I have this really neat navigation program that is miles away better than the GPS we have in the car. And my favorite part? The texts that I send and receive are nested into conversations, so now I don’t have to scroll back through my Sent box to figure out what the hell I asked you four hours ago.
I am so easily amused. And now you know why it took us so long to get out of the house yesterday. I had to play with it! The case was Grace’s gift to me, and she even picked it out herself! She did well too; the back of it is covered with cherry blossoms. It’s so pretty.
So yeah. I have a feeling that 31 is going to be a good year.