Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Virtual cake and the slippery slope to 40

I haven't blogged in ages. I literally haven't had a minute lately. Between working on my teacher diploma thingey, prep for lessons, actual working/driving, maintaing the house and baby in something of a clean state, well, you get the picture. And if I do what I'm really supposed to be doing, I never do what I want to do, i.e. blog. As my Aunt Jane sent in a recent forward (thanks for that one), sometimes we just need to stop and take time for those "moments" instead of checking off chores on our perpetual to-do list. So here's a moment for me and my blog!

Before I forget, let me wish my other fellow Tauruses a happy birthday. Marnie, the same day as me, Ilona, Becca and Crystal, Emma, too, if memory serves. You go, girls! Did I forget anyone? Ever since I was little I've associated this day with mild spring weather (or tornadoes, when you're in Alabama) and strawberry cakes. My mom often made me cakes with lovely whipped frosting and strawberries on top. I've kept up the tradition here in France, teaching Remi that I'm a "berry" girl. Strawberry, raspberry, cherries, red currants...they all make my mouth water in anticipation of that perfect mix of tart and sweet.

So as a day-before-my-birthday present to myself, I bought these luscious bavaroises aux fruits rouges. A raspberry mousse filling surrounded by a thin layer of cake, topped with some lovely berries. And Remi bought me a similar type cake for my real birthday. This time it was a charlotte, same mousse filling basically but surrounded by lady fingers with a delicate sugar coating. He got the baker to write "Happy Birthday" in English on the almond paste "card". And he bought a decadent chocolate cake, too, as he was worried the charlotte wouldn't be enough for all five of us at lunch.

And finally a little post-birthday cake was had with Ilona (fellow Taurus) just this week. Yet another delicate cake with a faux strawberry made of white chocolate on top.

Yes, I was spoiled in terms of cakes and presents and even the weather (in France at least) was gorgeous- warm and sunny. It was all so lovely it almost made me forget that I'm now the big 3-6. I know most of you reading this will say 36 is still young. But doesn't that "still" imply that I won't be young forever? I went through some similar feelings last year when I turned 35. Now the scales have tipped and I'm on the less fun side of that mini-landmark. Approaching the big 4-0. I'm in good company though- so many actors and singers who are still (there's that word again) considered happening, are in my age group. But it still doesn't take the sting out of some of these frightening thoughts:

* I'm twice as old as a high school senior. Remi sometimes jokes (at least I hope he's joking) that he could trade me in for two 18-year-olds.

* I started college half a lifetime ago. The memories of moving into my dorm room and discovering the deep thoughts of English lit and sunny afternoons on the campus green don't seem so far off. But they are. When I go back to my alma mater I notice my professors have aged or retired. But I've aged, too.

* The Red Hot Chili Peppers song Under the Bridge is over 18 years old. How come those guys don't seem old? Last I heard they were still dating high school seniors themselves.

* At 36 I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Or what I might sort of want to be is nearly impossible in France or at least in my limited area. And by most standards I'm in fact already grown up. But is a girl who owns (and frequently wears) Elmo socks really in danger of being called and adult?

Well, I've got a whole year to ponder these questions. And four more years before the real panic of mid-life crisis comes. What's with our obsessions with round numbers anyway? And didn't I hear that 40 is the new 30? So 36 is the new 26! Good news like that deserves a piece of cake. Preferably with strawberries.


Crystal said...

36 is still young and besides, you are tiny like me, so we can definitely pass for under 25!! I understand how you feel about not knowing "what to do when you grow up"..I think about this too all the time, but we ARE grown up and we ARE doing something that is productive to society, so I guess it's all ok! Glad you had the nice weather for your birthday and not this rainy cold stuff we've had all week. Wish I could have seen you last weekend, but I know how busy that weekend is for you and RĂ©mi.

Those cakes looked delicious and you deserved every last crumb! I want a DQ ice cream cake for mine and it seems my wish will come true! Unfortunately I will have to spend the day of my actual birthday waiting around all day in the Prefecture in Versailles, but I'll just have to remind myself I'm going home on Tuesday!!

Bisous to you and the BB.

Lindle said...

MMMMMmmmmm. I think this is the first time one can actually gain weight reading a blog. Those cakes look absolutely divine.

Wait until you get on the other side of the slope that leads to 60 (the new 50, right?) Then you can moan and groan. When I look back (gulp)at my 30s, I see how that was the decade of renewal--you've learned a vault-load of lessons, pocketed some wisdom, and possibly changed course, or have the potential to do so. Think of it as having scaled a signficant mountain where the view provides some clarity--then go climb a higher one!
Pass me a fork--I wan't some cake.
Love you,

Mars said...

Those cakes look AMAZING. Baking has always been a secret passion of mine and seeing your birthday cakes makes me want to whip out ye ole whisk and mixers and create something of my own.

On another note, 36 is more than young. Even since I was was 14 or so (I dont want to think about how long THAT has been) I have firmly stood by the opinion that you are never old until you decide to be. Regardless, happy birthday and many returns.

Emmy said...

i swear my blog doesn't update itself because i just saw your post. Happy belated bday! Yes, I'm taurus too!

It's not so bad looking young! That's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Speak soon

Anonymous said...

Dear Milam,
Loved the pictures of the cakes. My Daisy girlfriends laugh when we look at the scrapbooks we make and see all the pictures of food. YES, we take pictures of the yummy food we have when we're vacationing, especially cake. We just celebrated Bonnie's 60th and had a beautiful Daisy cake and we took lots of pictures of it.
I made a tirimisu yesterday for some girls to have after we ate dinner out. I ate 2 servings,YEA for dessert!!!!
Loved talking to you yesterday and love you all and miss you,

Ksam said...

Happy Birthday to you!

And I think the whole "trading you in" thing must be a French joke - my ex used to tell me all the time that when I hit 40, he was going to trade me in for two 20 year olds! lol

Jenenz said...

Virtual cakes are great because they are no calorie treats for the eyes and imagination of the mind. And yes, they are beautiful creations!

Enjoy your 30s! You still have a few more years to grow into them. You're still a bud, drinking that tasty water and soaking up nutrients (like strawberry cake!) At 40 the bud opens up its petals and soaks up the sun.

Keep celebrating life!

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