One day I realized that a certain special someone in my life was turning 50. I realize that this is a large enough milestone to warrant a party (pronounced “Pahtay!!”) but that also this certain special someone almost didn’t make it to 50 and has had a bit of a tough time these past couple of years.
I had this thought a few months ago and decided to call Jim’s good friend, Patrick who lives in Colorado. I mentioned my idea of having a surprise party for Jim to him, and he too agreed that we should most definitely throw a “Pahtay”, and that he and his beautiful fiancée, Tanya would “be there, be square!” I then called Jim’s father and mentioned my idea, and he thought it was a great idea as well…
Jim hasn’t seen Pat in a few years so I thought it would be a great surprise / pick me up for Jim.
Pat and I talked about the wording for the invitations, and I put together a little invite. I had also decided that Jim would find out about the party when Pat came through the door the day before his party. Due to current circumstances, having people hide behind furniture and jump out screaming SURPRISE probably not a good idea. We don’t need any LVAD alarms going off!!
Then I get the call from Jim telling me about the “unconventional experiment” that Tufts wanted to do and that if any sign of an infection shows up they are probably going to have to do surgery.
I asked Jim when they wanted to admit him and he indicated in a couple of days…
I called my Mom and said I think I’ll hold off sending out these invitations and just wait and see what direction this “experiment” goes… Thankfully, that had ended well (see previous post) and I sent out the invites.
So I don’t have enough going on in my life with working full time, caregiver for my big, handsome Hubby, keeping a house and planning his surprise 50th B-day party; one week before the party, I decide it is now time to fix up the first floor bathroom.
My family and friends all thought I was Certifiable… Jim (so funny!) just couldn’t understand the sense of urgency all of a sudden. I think it subconsciously was a way to distract me.
I am famous for slipping and letting things out beforehand. It’s also hard to be excited about something and not be able to tell someone!!
The other issue was that I usually make a big deal about his birthday. I invite immediate family over and make a special Beef Wellington dinner and bake a chocolate cake and just really talk about it non-stop beforehand. This time I wasn’t saying a word and wondered if Jim was picking up on that. So I decide to ask him every so often what he wanted to do for his birthday and he just kept saying “let’s see how I’m feeling.”
I’m thinking you better be feeling pretty good, Hon because we’ve got like 30 people or so coming to the house!!!
Meanwhile, back to the bathroom…
Paper-backed, vinyl wallpaper, thank you very much.
This wallpaper (while pretty in its own right) had no business being in a bathroom. Just took away and overpowered the tile. It had been put up by a previous renter, and I had always thought it belonged in a dining room – definitely not a bathroom but let me know what you think…
It took almost the entire week to remove it and get the walls prepped for painting. Jim still doesn’t understand where this urgent mission came from, but came with me to Lowe’s to get some type of a wallpaper remover. Unfortunately, they are all extremely toxic, and I didn’t want anything like that in the house so one of the women there said to fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and extremely hot water. Score the wallpaper, spray the wall and then wait 10-15 minutes and then you will be able to scrape it off.
You really do need to let that solution sit on the wallpaper for a good 10-15 minutes before you try to remove it – works better that way. Also, don’t do what I did which was spray the wall and then start watching the Olympics and forget to go back to scrape… Then it would be too dry, and I would need to spray all over again…
Finally, with the help of my Dad and Jim, the bathroom is finished. I had been working late a few nights that week and would go home to scrape wallpaper and wash the walls but the night that I was supposed to spackle,
I LOVES to spackle!!
I was just beyond tired, and decided to take the night off and just watch the Olympics. Jim ended up spackling for me that night which was great because that meant that we were still on schedule for his Party!!
My Dad was a huge help – he installed a new faucet, a new light fixture and he shaved down the bathroom door because it would scrape on the floor and just annoy the crap out of us!!
Thank you, DAD!!!!
All done!! Here is the finished product!! (and yes, we have already been informed that we are running low on toilet paper – thank you very much!!)
So everyone has RSVP’d, food has been ordered, the decorations are all set and the cake (OMG – wait til you see the cake!!!) has been ordered. We are pretty much good to go. At the time my only concern was knowing the amount of people coming versus the amount of chairs that I own. I have six dining room chairs in a consignment shop (Dorothy’s Lane) in Melrose, and wondered if it would be a bad idea to call and ask if I could borrow them back for a weekend…
Then we start getting the weather reports.
First, we are told that Boston is getting a dusting… Then they are talking 3-6 inches. Then I get a text from my brother – they have now upgraded the storm to a full-blown blizzard. We are right on that cusp where we could get anything from 3 inches to 16 inches depending on which way the bands went…
I called my Mom and told her, and we both just started laughing. Of course, we would be having a blizzard. Jim’s friends Pat and Tanya flew in on the Thursday prior (during a snowstorm) so I mistakenly thought it would be clear sailing after that… They are now up in Maine visiting family and would be driving down during this storm on Saturday.
We just decided that Mother Nature is going to do whatever it is she wants to do, and we cannot control that and people can decide at the time what to do. It was just too close to call. We could get three inches or 12 inches. It was basically a wait and see…
Saturday morning I am usually out the door to do errands first thing. This Saturday I am up but not out the door. As the day goes on, I do start to get concerned about the storm and talk with Jim about cancelling dinner arrangements – he still doesn’t know that Pat and Tanya are coming over.
He decides to see about making hotel reservations so we can still have a nice night.
Whoa, hold that Tiger.
I finally end up asking him to just roll with it for a while so he started to figure out that something was going on… Saturday afternoon I get a text from Pat. He and Tanya are on their way down. I cancelled the dinner reservations and decided as a back-up plan to make a meatloaf dinner. I just didn’t want anyone on the road during the height of the storm. They had been predicting the worst of it around dinnertime.
Pat knocks on the door, and I asked Jim to answer it for me. If I was thinking, I would have opened the door so at least I could have seen Jim’s face when he saw Pat standing there…
Jim opens the door and sees Pat standing on the porch…
Tanya and I were laughing so hard.
To say Jim was happy to see them is an understatement. It was awesome that they were able to make it out from Colorado for Jim’s 50th.
See that smile – that’s all I wanted to see… (Jim’s on the left)
Sunday, February 16th was Jim’s birthday and surprise party. The snowstorm Saturday night fizzled and Boston got maybe 3-4 inches tops!! Jim’s family from New York was able to make it in and family and friends from all over came – I think we had about 25 people. The food was great!! I think I possibly ordered a little too much, but I’m Italian, and we believe in providing a variety of food to make sure everyone is happy!!
It was catered by the Chateau in Burlington, MA. Good tip from my brother… They did an awesome job. Delivered on time and everything tasted delicious!
Here is Jim’s cake that I was telling you about earlier:
This was done by Terri at Cakes by Terri and she did a FANTASTIC job!!! She was a joy to work with and her prices are beyond reasonable too. I called her and found out that she’s actually right around the corner from where I work. I explained what Jim has been going through, and how I have started calling him my fighter / warrior but that he also loves Samurai Warriors. She told me that she wanted to do something fun for him and this is what she came up with. Jim (actually everyone) loved his cake. Not only was it whimsical (it was really nice to see him smile / laugh), but it also tasted great – extremely moist. All our guests raved about how good it tasted.
And I just love the sandals!! Cracked me up!!
Here is a photo of the slider in the kitchen all decorated for the party (and also our neighbor’s house)…
I had put Kendall in our bedroom for the day so I wouldn’t have to worry about her getting stepped on or accidentally let outside. So I didn’t realize until the next day that those decorations around the window scared the heck out of her. Sunday night after the party she came upstairs with us when we went to bed and Jim said she was in bed / out of bed / in bed / out of bed all night long which is strange… The next morning I went to feed her and realized she hadn’t eaten any of her dinner.
I realized that she was afraid of the window decorations. They must look like one giant freaking spider or octopus or something to her. Plus, when the heat came on, the decorations would start moving… She just wouldn’t go into the kitchen until I had taken them down, thrown them away and then I had to pick her up and show her that it was gone…
My poor baby!!!
Unfortunately, her litter box is in that little bathroom off the kitchen that we had spoken about earlier… Ugh!!
I had Monday off for President’s Day, and we spent some time with Patrick and Tanya before they had to head back to Colorado.
I had taken Tuesday off to have some down time so was able to get into my sewing room for a little bit. It was nice to finally relax for a while. I would like to do that again actually :)…
That’s all we have to report for now. Thanks so much for reading – appreciate it!!
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Love you guys!!