Another year older, but none the wiser this old Bird always says come the end of April. I've added yet another candle that gets added to the birthday cake -- no need to get into the gory details, suffice it to say if I actually lit all those candles on a cake, it would be a blazing inferno of doom!

The best gift was one enjoyed over a week ago, when this Bird's family was in town -- a Jaunty mom and her two equally Jaunty sisters. They stayed for a too-short visit that I wish was multiplied many times over, as this Old Bird is also an Odd Bird in the way that I actually enjoy spending time with my family. I don't get to see them as much as I'd like, so having them here is an absolute treat. They've all seen the area several times before, so it was less about being a tourist and more about doing the one thing we all forget to do, even when we are on vacation, which is to truly relax. Do nothing. Seriously -- just do nothing. It's harder than it sounds, but it's sublime when you transition from the nonstop schedule of deadlines and to-do's and just sit for a whole day with your loved ones, drinking coffee, eating baked treats and talking about old stories and the people who inhabit them. You start to feel like you're living in your own life again, and not just observing.

And so this was the birthday gift I doff my J'adore cap to -- just getting away for a few days, even if it was under my own roof. A reminder that you don't need to run away to truly get away. It helps when you have people who will come to you and keep you from slipping back into workaday habits. The best advice I've heard was to never work on your birthday, and while I sadly had to break that rule this year (mine was on a Monday, boo), I feel like I made up for it earlier by unplugging for a few days with loved ones. 

Jaunty Fine Print:  photos by Denise Sakaki

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