Wednesday, October 23, 2013


For my 60th birthday, & again on my 65th, my husband invited a bunch of my friends to celebrate with us.  Not at our home, though, or even at a rented hall--he flew all of us for two days & one night in Las Vegas!!

The first party actually started the evening before my birthday when eight of my closest women friends came to our house.  We all went to a local deli for dinner.  We came home to a pajama party.  We were on couches, in beds & sleeping bags.  The next morning we had a continental breakfast & finished up the deli leftovers.  Bud gave them $100.00 (each) for a gambling stake.

The limousines (what else?) came & picked us up & took us to the airport where we boarded the plane for a forty-five minute flight to Vegas.  I can't remember which hotel we stayed at, but it was one of the big fancy ones.  We left  our bags at the bell desk & went to lunch.  One of the ladies played keno during lunch & won a couple of hundred dollars, which set the tone for our stay.  (I think we all came home winners--I do remember Bud trying to get me to board the plane home while I was getting my jackpot payment out of an airport slot machine.)

We had a great lunch & then got into a super-stretch limo & went casino hopping. Then back to our hotel, where we had five rooms for the ten of us, a quick shower, a gourmet dinner & gambling 'til we couldn't keep our eyes open.  During part of the evening there were several of us at a 21 table, where I acted as instructor for the novices in my group. Later we hit the slot machines, where one of my friends insisted on doubling up with me. One of us would put in the coins while the other pulled the arm.  We won there, too!

AND, as icing on the cake, my son, Blake, & his wife, Diane, surprised me & showed up for dinner with us at the second party!!

Blake & DI gave me this, which they bought in the hotel,
because it looked just like me, bare feet, smock & all:

It now lives on the bottom shelf in an alcove in our living room 
with other little ducks that I've collected as souvenirs 
while travelling around the world:

We came back home around lunchtime.  It was one of the BEST birthdays I ever had. It was so much fun that Bud did it again for my 65!!   

The 2nd party--my 65th birthday

To have fun at a party, it's important that your guests BE fun and/or lovable.  I've told some of these stories before, but now you can identify them with a face:

BARBARA: She & I were playing golf when I slipped & broke my left wrist.  After finally convincing her that my wrist really hurt & that it wasn’t that I wanted to quit because I was playing poorly, she drove me to the ER.  She was in the room with me when the doctor told me I’d have to remove my engagement & wedding rings because my hand would swell up.  I took them off & handed them to Barb who tearfully said, “You’ve been promising me these rings forever & you had to break your wrist for me to get them!”  The look that passed between the doctor & the nurse was priceless!

YOLANDA: Not too funny, but VERY sweet.  She was the bookkeeper in Bud's office.  At one time, she had a crush on my youngest son.  At another time, he had a crush on her.  If their timing had been better, I could have been her mother-in-law.

ME & BUD: It’s not often that my husband out-funnies me, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  At the reception after our daughter's wedding I made a toast to the newlyweds: “May you both be as happy in your marriage as my husband is in ours!”  Everybody laughed.  Then Bud made his toast: “May you both be as happy in your marriage as my wife THINKS I am in ours!”

BONNIE: A while after we bought our beach house in Port Hueneme, CA, my next door neighbor, Bonnie, moved in with her husband from a few blocks away.  She was from Kentucky & as “down home” & unspoiled as you can get.  A month or so after she moved in we were all invited to a semi-formal dinner to honor the new commander of the Naval Base.  We asked her what “semi-formal” meant in this small town.  Her answer: “Deodorant OR perfume!”

One more "Bonnie-ism": We were playing golf behind a very slow group of men.  She exasperatedly asked me why it is that men will spend 10 minutes looking for a lost ball, but they won’t take 5 seconds to find your “G spot”!

CHARLENE: She’s the original “earth mother”.  Twenty plus years ago I was called for jury duty.  While there I slipped on the marble floor & broke my left thumb.  (Note: I am not always breaking bones, although it might sound that way.)  It was in a splint & I couldn’t put on a necklace or button my right cuff.  Bud left for work before I got up, so I asked another prospective juror (her) to help me by holding out my right arm & saying, "Please dress me, Mommy!"  She did, & we clicked.  We became the best of friends--& still are.

PATRICIA: Again, not funny, but again, a sweetheart.

BERNICE: Her husband had Alzheimer’s & had become very argumentative.  He had become nearly impossible to live with.  Shortly after his death she & I were marketing together.  We were at the meat counter.  She told me she was buying a steak for dinner.  She said that she had had steak the previous night, but she felt like having steak again & now that she only had herself to be concerned about, she could have whatever she wanted.  Bernice looked at me & said, “There MUST be a downside to being a widow, but so far I haven’t found what it is!”

NATALIE: When we first bought our condo on Maui, my sister-in-law, Natalie, & her 3 kids came out to stay with us & our 3 kids.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with Hawaiian prices, but our grocery bill was enormous!  Nat was going over the grocery shopping list that Bud had made & saw either “ice cream” or “candy”.  We loved when she said, in all seriousness, “Don’t buy that—the kids will just eat it!”

BOB:  One of the nicest & most patient men you could ever meet.  (He'd HAVE to be to stay married to Barbara for so long!)



Thank you SO much, Bud--I had a nice time at your parties!!----fishducky