PAUSE

I said in my last Sunday Salon post that I would have details today about the birthday giveaway I had planned. However, because of the busyness of this past week, with life and work, I didn’t get to figuring out the logistics. My wife and I also are away this weekend for…well…my birthday, which Sunday. So I am putting the giveaway and its details on pause. I am not sure when I exactly I will hit “resume,” but it will be before the end of my birthday month. Stay tuned.

My birthday month begins…NOW!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before here on the blog, but next Sunday, I turn 50…

…and, as has become my custom, I celebrate my birthday not just for a day or a weekend or a week, I celebrate it…

ALL MONTH LONG!

That’s right. This year, I think with half a century in the rearview, it might just be worth the celebration. Throughout this month, I will share the party with my wife Kim (but of course), family, especially my parents (duh!), my sister, her family, and friends, especially all of you, with a giveaway of a few of my favorite books at the end of the month.

I am starting the month with breakfast today at my favorite breakfast place, Conspiracy Coffee, and lunch and dinner later with ribs that I will get there too. Unfortunately, my wife Kim won’t be able to join me since she worked a midnight shift this morning and then bookends it tonight with a 12-hour shift that goes into tomorrow. I am starting the month today with working at the library (hey, at least, I am with books) and then hoping to do all that stuff I crossed out in the previous sentence tomorrow. Then I’m starting off the week with a focus on my health:

  • on Monday, I’m going to physical therapy for my left knee that was bruised back in early March.
  • on Tuesday, I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to make sure that my knee is only a minor sprain/strain that the physical therapist and my nurse practitioner believe it is. Fingers crossed.

At the end of the week, we’re going to Smokin’ Summer Kickoff on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, an event that pairs wine with food at 22 participating wineries, over three days, June 7 through June 9. Because I work Friday, we won’t be going up until Saturday morning, but we’ll actually be kicking off the weekend Friday night by watching Wine Country and Springsteen on Broadway. Even though we’ve read mixed reviews of Wine Country, we thought it would be appropriate to start with a movie about a group of women getting together to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. Whether or not the movie is good, we had t-shirts made, like the ones they have in the movie:

As for why we’re watching Springsteen on Broadway, Kim’s favorite musician is Bruce and we’re considering the weekend her birthday weekend too. Her birthday was in April, but she didn’t have the entire weekend off.

We already have our tickets for the wine event and are staying overnight Saturday night at The Gridley Inn in Waterloo at the top of the lake. Saturday morning, we’ll start from Catharine Valley Winery near the bottom of the lake, then wind our way up the east side of the lake to one non-participating winery, Three Brothers Wineries, which is one of our favorite wineries. On Sunday, we’ll start from Ventosa Vineyards still on the east side of the lake, then go down the west side of the lake, finishing at Lakewood Vineyards. Initially, I had planned for us to shuffle through playlists of our favorite musicians, a playlist of Springsteen’s first 12 albums on Saturday and then a playlist of U2’s first 12 albums on Sunday. But now I’ve made up a shorter playlist of some of our favorite albums, mostly from the last decade, with the playlist appropriately called “The Big 5-Oh”.

The weekend after my birthday is Father’s Day and I’m going to see my dad – and mom, of course, the people who…well…made my birth possible. That Sunday my sister, her family, and I are taking my dad to a Mopar Father’s Day Weekend Cruise-In at The Eagles Mere Air Museum and the Eagles Mere Auto Museum in Eagles Mere, Pa. The last two weekends? I’ll be honest I have nothing planned…well, at least as it relates to my birthday. On one of them, I’ll be going to my favorite breakfast place, Conspiracy Coffee, and then have lunch and dinner later with ribs that I will get there too. Unfortunately, my wife Kim won’t be able to join me since she works midnight shift Saturday morning and then a 12-hour shift that starts Saturday night and goes into Sunday. The other weekend? I don’t know yet.

In addition to the giveaway (details on how to enter, to be announced on my birthday), on the bookish front, I plan on continuing to read through the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot. I’m on the fifth in the U.S. version of the series, The Lord God Made Them All, and hope to finish the sixth, Every Living Thing, by the end of the month, if not by the end of July. Also during the month, I want to delve into Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, two of my all-time favorite collections of poetry.

On my birthday next Sunday, I’ll be sharing photos throughout the day on Instagram via the hashtag #birthdayphotoanhour, started by @michelleerin and also done by @suzioregon and @florinda3rs, among a few others. Peek in on my celebration, if you like. Most likely I’ll be posting multiple photos every four hours instead of every hour on the hour as others have done. Less pressure to post and enjoy the day as much as possible.

Pushing Forward Back May/June 2019

May overall went as planned. At the beginning of the month, I watched Avengers: Endgame (awesome send-off) and got a new lawnmower; mid-month, my wife and I watched the end of Game of Thrones (a not-so-awesome sendoff BUT, in my wife’s and my opinion, overall a satisfying conclusion even if extremely rushed to get there) and now here at the end of the month, I am in the midst of a long holiday weekend. Initially, it was going to be a three-day weekend, but now it’s a FOUR-day weekend so I’m not complaining, y’all.

I am drafting this on Friday night, probably will publish this Saturday morning, and then settle in for the four-day holiday weekend, mostly with reading. I am continuing to read, and obviously enjoy, the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot. I finished All Things Wise and Wonderful, the third book in the U.S. version of the series, earlier in the month and now am starting The Lord God Made Them All.

In addition to my regular Sunday Salon posts here on the blog, my wife and I also talked TV in back-to-back What We’re Watching Wednesday posts, first, my picks for short season shows and then her picks for short season shows. We also shared our favorite Mother’s Day movies.

June, which includes my 50th birthday on June 9, starts right out of the gate, almost in a gallop toward my birthday. Bang! First day of the month, June 1, I work at the library. Bang! First day of the first week, June 3, I have my first physical therapy session for my bruised left knee (since the end of March) at 9 a.m. Bang! Second day of the first week, June 4, I have an afternoon appointment with an orthopedic specialist to make sure the bruise isn’t something worse. I have been doing exercises as prescribed by a physical therapist who gave me an initial assessment too. He and my nurse practitioner believe it is a minor sprain and strain.

I had planned to go out for breakfast on June 1 to kick-start my birthday month, but then I was asked to work. At least, it’s starting with books ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . It’s not all bad. Plus I have no doubt that I will be reading June 2, probably starting the final book in the Herriot series, Every Living Thing.

The highlight of the month comes the second weekend with Smokin’ Summer Kickoff on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The self-guided tour of 22 participating wineries includes a pairing of wine and food over three days, June 7 through June 9. We already have our tickets and will be visiting as many wineries as we can on Saturday and Sunday since I work Friday and we won’t be able to get up there until Saturday. I will share more of my plans for my birthday weekend at the start of that weekend.

The weekend after my birthday is Father’s Day, and I plan to get together with my father sometime over the weekend, even if it isn’t Sunday. I’m not sure yet if I might have to work yet on Sunday since our library added Sunday hours in April and there still (last I knew) a need for someone to work that Sunday. I’m also not sure what yet what we’ll do or if I’ll just go over to my parents’ house to visit with them both or if he and I will do something on our own or with my sister and her family too on Saturday.

In addition to planning on finishing the Herriot series, I will be having a book giveaway here on the blog. I plan on starting the giveaway on the day of my birthday and running until the end of the week? two weeks? month? I haven’t decided yet how long, or how exactly how I’ll do it, but I do have a pile of books ready to go. I also want to delve into All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, one of my all-time favorite collections of poetry, and on the last Sunday of the month, I plan on starting Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, another of my all-time favorite collections of poetry. I thought it would be good to celebrate America with the Fourth of July coming up that following week.

I’ll leave you with my favorite song of the month, from possibly my favorite album of the month:

How was your month of May? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in June? Share in the comments.