“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.”

Mornings this time of the summer are lovely. The air is still cool from the nighttime and the sun has a sharpness that highlights even the smallest leaf. My cats sleep sprawled in the sun shining through the front door while Gracie sleeps in her crate and snores loudly enough to be heard here, down the hall in the den.

When I woke up this morning, I rushed downstairs to open the front door expecting to see a planter of mums. I didn’t and was disappointed. My friend has never before failed to leave them on the steps. I stood there bemoaning the morning then I noticed the mums were by the gate. The festivities can begin.

When I was a little kid, I’d rush to the mailbox hoping for cards and hoping to find a dollar or two tucked into each card. It wasn’t being greedy. Back then a dollar meant I could buy two new books, and two dollars was almost wealth beyond comprehension. One grandmother always sent a dollar until I was a teen then she sent five dollars. Even when I was in the Peace Corps she’d slip a dollar or two in the aerogramme which warned about enclosing anything. I doubt she even noticed, but I was always appreciative of those dollars. They were hard to come by in Ghana.

My mother always made the cake. Chocolate was my favorite. We’d sit around the table after dinner with the cake in the middle and the right number of candles on the top. I’d endure the singing. It always embarrassed me a little, still does. After the singing ritual, I’d blow out the candles, my mother would cut the cake, and finally I’d get to open the family presents.

This afternoon my friends are taking me on the lobster cruise out of Sesuit Harbor. It is the perfect day for a cruise with still air and all that sun. My camera battery is charged and ready. Come to think of it, so am I.

Today, in the normal course of events, I would be eligible for medicare!

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40 Comments on ““Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.””

    • Hedley Says:

      Kat, hopefully this is new for you and the Katclub. Its a little long but awfully well done

      • katry Says:

        My Dear hedley,
        I sat with a grin on my face as I watched the whole video. It is filled with such joy of life!

        Thank you!!!

      • Hedley Says:

        It is just so positive – thought I should share it with the Kataholics, its terrific

    • morpfy Says:

      Banana Cake with Cinnamon Glaze


      1-1/2 cups flour
      1 tsp ground cinnamon
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      1 tsp baking soda
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, etc.), optional
      1 cup sugar
      1/2 cup oil
      2 eggs
      1 cup mashed ripe bananas
      1/2 cup sour cream
      1 tsp pure vanilla extract
      Cinnamon Glaze:
      1 cup confectioners’ sugar
      1 tsp ground cinnamon
      1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      1 to 2 Tbsp milk or cream


      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil.
      In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and chopped nuts.
      In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil. Add eggs, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
      Beat for 2 minutes until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients,
      stirring only until all ingredients are combined.
      Pour into prepared pan.
      Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.
      Let cool to room temperature.

      Cinnamon Glaze:
      Whisk together confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract,
      and milk or cream.
      Add only enough cream to make a spreadable glaze.
      Top cooled cake with cinnamon glaze before cutting.

      Yield: 24 to 36 servings, depending on cut size

      • katry Says:


        This one sounds so delicious! I love banana bread anyway, and I can only imagine how great a banana cake will taste. I’ve copied it for my files!

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Happy Birthday! I assume it is your birthday because otherwise it would have to be Cape Cod Leave Mums at the Door Day.
    My mother baked birthday cake for a while. Possibly she
    stopped after Duke the Dog jumped up on the table and licked all the frosting off my father’s birthday cake. She would make cakes for no reason but, for birthdays, she went to the local bakery and bought the birthday celebrant’s favorite cake. For a long time mine was schwarzwälder kirschtorte. My mom was very happy when it changed to fruit tart. She didn’t have to write that one down. 🙂

    Enjoy the lobster cruise and the ocean and the company of friends on a beautiful day!

    • Xurando Says:

      Hi Kat. My birthday today as well. One year behind you I think. Happy Leo birthday

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I actually answered this earlier but it disappeared!

      My dog Duke was also a counter surfer but he preferred meat! Shauna, a Boxer of mine, was a counter surfer too and had no preferences. She ate half of my dessert for company, a cake!

      Thanks for the well wishes!!

  2. greg mpls Says:

    best of days to you! thank you for all you share with us!

  3. sprite Says:

    Happy birthday, Kat!

    I hope your birthday is this much fun for everyone involved!

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eD2QCgeJug?rel=0&w=350&h=197%5D

  4. Birgit Says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy Birthday !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Enjoy your day !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Sesame Street – “A Cat Had a Birthday”
    Sorry, name typo 😉

  5. Hedley Says:

    As we say in the old country
    “Many Happy Returns of the Day”

  6. olof1 Says:

    Happy Birthday my friend!

    I wish I could have seen Your face when You didn’t find the mum at first and when You did 🙂

    What could be better on a birthday than a lobster cruise, I feel a bit jealous actually 🙂 Long time since I had lobster.

    I can’t remember much of my birthdays but I do remember I always were allowed to open up one package when I woke up. Since I’ve always been a morning person and the rest of my family not they usually left the one thing I would enjoy the most and keep me quiet for the longest time beside my bed 🙂

    I also remember always having strawberry cake. Lots of whipped cream and, if available fresh strawberries all over it and strawberry jam in between the layers 🙂 Perhaps that’s the reason I don’t like whipped cream any longer 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I hope You’ll have a just as wonderful birthday as You wish and hope for 🙂


    • katry Says:

      Many, Many Thanks, Christer!!

      It’s been a longtime too for me since my last lobster! I’m already thinking of that meat covered in drawn butter!

      My cards I could open, but the presents waited a bit. I was impatient as any kid would be! The mailman just came with a gift which I opened in a heartbeat! It was from my sister nd my other sister sent a card with a check-far more than in the old days when I was a kid!

      I love strawberry shortcake but ours never has jelly so that can’t be what you ate. I love whipped cream and so does Gracie. She gets to lick the beaters-too funny as it is always all over her muzzle.

      • olof1 Says:

        The cake was sort of a big sponge cake cut in at least two layers, the most common sort of cake here. There’s always lots of jam between the layers and strawberries all over the cake. I think that’s the most common cake we have here during summer. Sometimes we’re adventures and use raspberries instead 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. katry Says:

    Jelly between the layers is also very British.

  8. Pat Says:

    Hope you have a great birthday- with lots more cake!

  9. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Happy Birthday. I remember a birthday some years ago where you took me on a tour of the island. Have fun on the cruise and when you return there will be something somewhere I’ve found to help celebrate your birthday.
    Much Love,

    • katry Says:

      I remember that birthday. We went all over. It was a fun day!!

      I just got in the door from a great birthday celebration!

  10. im6 Says:

    Got internet access (and cable!) just in time for your birthday, so the day won’t go unacknowledged by me (lucky you). Hope you’re having a wonderful day. Sounds like you will/are/did. Cool weather and a lobster cruise sound just about perfect (and about 180º from what I’m currently experiencing). Sorry you get no homemade virtual birthday card this year, but I just haven’t had the access/time/energy (pick all three). But it looks like I’m about to get settled into the new life if I don’t drop dead from heat stroke first (Bob hasn’t been lying to you about this Metroplex weather).

    Best wishes, my friend, and many many more candles in the future!

    • Hedley Says:

      Ooooohhh, nothing says Happy Birthday like Claire Grogan, now where is my twelve incher of this ?

    • katry Says:

      Dear im6,
      This was a fine birthday card! I didn’t know her and had to do some Google snooping!

      I am so glad that you are finally settled, and I can understand why you’re tired especially given the heat. I know Bob bemoans the 100˚ every day.

      The cruise was cancelled, but I still had a great birthday!! I’ll muse tomorrow on Coffee.

      Thank you!!

  11. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Happy Birthday Kat!

    I have been MIA from Coffee for a while due to major surgery – – I had my gall bladder out on July 2nd. I had some complications before that (a blocked bile duct) and all told I was three weeks in the hospital which was followed by a recovery at home of several more weeks. My doctors have put me on a low-fat, low-salt, low carb diet. I don’t know what is left to eat! 🙂

    The good news is I lost twenty pounds – – kinda the hard way.

    MMMMMMMMMMMMM…cake. Sounds good!

    All my love,


    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Coleen!

      I was wondering where you were though I wish it could have been you were away because of an exotic vacation!

      You’re right-not a fun or easy way to lose 20 pounds. I can’t think what might taste good minus everything on your low diet.

      I’m glad to hear you’re better. Three weeks must have seemed liked forever!

      I saved my cake for later-too many frozen mud slides and then dinner!


  12. Bob Says:

    Happy birthday! I always remember that I am not just getting older, but I am getting better.

  13. Cuidado Says:

    I am always a day late because I come here early each morning. So, I have to give you belated birthday wishes. Hope you had a great day and don’t feel a day older.


    • katry Says:

      Thanks! I don’t feel any older. I always think that the mystery of getting older: your mind and heart don’t seem to age but your body gives it all away.

      It was a wonderful day!

  14. Erin Says:

    Happy belated birthday, Kat!

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