Happy Birthday Mom!

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Today is my mother’s 81st birthday. Wow!

My Mom’s incredible— she’s completely healthy, until recently walked a mile a day on the treadmill, and traveled the world by herself. She takes no drugs—nada. She’s petite and in fantastic shape with the exception of one worn knee. She’s more than active—my mother’s hyperactive, and it hurts like dickens for her to simply walk anymore. So, tomorrow, my mom goes in for knee replacement surgery. Mom’s never had surgery, and she’s petrified.

Therefore, today is all about distraction. I took the day off. We’re having mani/pedis  first. Then we’re doing the face and massage stuff. Next is a champagne lunch (all approved by the surgeon), and then tonight her grandsons come over for a surf and turf dinner.

After dinner, we’re watching old James Bond movies until we’re literally falling asleep on ourselves. ‘Course I’m nervous too. I lost my dad 24 years ago and I definitely want my mom around for a long as she’s happy to be alive.

If all goes well, we’re going to go to Iceland together next year. Another mother-daughter trip reminiscent of our first in 2008, which was a 28-day road trip through Monaco, France, Spain, and London. Making memories to treasure.

Happy Birthday Mom!

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Flowers!

Though my boys brought me flowers and gifts, the best gift of all was having them all there together yesterday. The ‘wayward one’, who works for Google and lives on the west coast, made the  four day trip just to be here with all of us.

 

Love you guys. Here are some pics of all the Moms’ Day Flowers from family and friends.

 

 

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Have a wonderful day after Mother’s Day!

 

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Mom in Monaco

Today is my mother’s eightieth birthday. What’s more amazing than the sheer number of years she’s lived are the drastic events my mom’s lived through—World War II for instance. When she speaks of the black bread and food rationing during those years, I am astounded.

My mother’s an incredible woman. She was born of Portuguese parents in Georgetown, Guyana and grew up in that city. She knew tragedy early in life. At the age of nine, her two eldest brothers drowned on the same day. Her parents were poor immigrants and struggled to keep her in school, yet she graduated high school. She met my father at the tender age of eighteen, and they were married less than a year later.

That doesn’t sound significant, but my mother married a mixed-race man in 1955 (against her parent’s wishes). In those days, the population of the Caribbean, Guyana included, was strictly segregated—albeit voluntarily.

She went on to give birth to one girl (me) and three sons. Today she is chairwoman of a Caribbean conglomerate, and, at the age of eighty, still goes to work each and every single day. She has eight grandchildren (who she totally dotes on), three nieces, and one nephew.

When my father died 23 years ago, my mom was the glue that held the family together. In the Caribbean, it was unheard of for a ‘woman’ to take the reins of a large company, and many expected that the business my parents founded would fall into bankruptcy. No way. My mother refused to let that happen. She’s stubborn like bull and told the bankers holding our loans to go where the sun don’t shine.

You may have gathered that I’m proud of her. You bet.

Mom and I didn’t have much of a relationship until after my dad died (I was daddy’s little girl—totally). But, then my mother and I did a twenty-eight day road trip through Monaco, France, and Spain, and we bonded. I love you mom and wish you many, many more birthdays.

All my love always,

Jianne

Turkey and Thanksgiving!

My Maple-Cayenne Glazed Bird

My Maple-Cayenne Glazed Bird

Today is Thanksgiving Thursday and we’re doing a joint dinner with my good friend, Tamarind, whose mother passed peacefully in her sleep on Monday. She was 93. For the first time in my life, I attended a memorial service yesterday that was a celebration of a life. The  ceremony was beautiful and perfect. We left feeling revitalized. That’s the kind of service I want. No tears, no grief, just the joy of being able to have shared time with the people I love. Kudos to Tamarind  for doing her mom proud!

So, today I am grateful for my family and friends, for all of you who’ve touched my life and made it better.

Happy Turkey Day!

Cheers,

Jianne

Brunch in Los Altos

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Los Altos, Rick’s Cafe

Traveling has to be one of my  favorite hobbies, topped only by spending time with family and friends, and having great meals. The wonderful thing about traveling is that I can combine three of my faves into one.

The Viking and I spent three wonderful days with my wayward son, his amazing and gorgeous girlfriend, and some of his roommates,  co-workers, and friends. Last night our son and his girl took us out for dinner to a fantastic Jordanian restaurant located on historic Murphy Street in Sunnyvale (their new home as of next week). What a wonderful evening! Our son’s new ‘babe’ totally won us over. Smart as whip, pretty, diligent, ambitious, and she adores my wayward one. The latter’s all that’s important to me, but the rest—the equivalent of a kazillion dollar signing bonus! (sheesh, you have to forgive me—my son’s a recruiter, and I’m starting to think in his lingo).

Yesterday, we said farewell to our son and his girl, and I did not tear up in front of him-an accomplishment I’m entirely proud of even if it means I’m a total suck. We had brunch in Los Altos at Rick’s Cafe, and then headed down to Santa Cruz. Here are some photos:

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Have a marvelous Monday!

Cheers,

Jianne