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Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Happy Belated Birthday!

I can't believe I forgot. Our birthdays are so close together, I should really remember 'one week and a day'.
Also, congrats on your time off. I've been spending at least one whole (!) day per week completely UNPLUGGED and it's fantastic. I get so much done.

I was raised to never question a lady, especially when it comes to her age, so I guess I'll have to take your word for it.

Happy birthday, friend, you don't look a day over 30.

Happy birthday, Mary Ann. Your photo of the LA lights is outstanding. I haven't been to Yamishiro's in decades. Thank you for the memory journey.
Alpaca farms abound here in Ohio. Not sure why, but we pass them all the time and marvel at them.
Still loving your blog since reading it from day one.
Hugs to you.

Belated birthday wishes to you from me....so happy for you and your "leave" - so grateful to have your blog to read and share along vicariously (says she from her work desk on a Sunday afternoon. much to do...not enough hours to do it all - you know the story...) Thanks for this wee respite from my work-- especially today when I really, really don't feel like it! (insert major pout face and feet stamping.)

AND OH THE ALPACAS! Prepare to fall in love....we have been visited one near us after finding them this summer and I really could see myself raising them.....some day. I will send you a photo to melt your heart --- first time my our five-year old got to WALK ONE. (after which she told me she wants one. or two. and they can live in her room! and share her bed! she will feed them! she promised! And they can play with the horses and ponies she wants to keep in the garage : )

Happy belated birthday Mary Ann and may all the best come your way in your next half century. I can totally relate to your elation re: your leave of absence.....enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Look what happens when I am offline for a few days....you go and have a birthday! How delightful! Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday Dear Mary Ann....Happy birthday to you!

Happy Birthday all year long. This is a very special one! Love that you are free as a bird and obviously enjoying it. I begin on the computer with my morning coffee and then continue to spend way too much time on it off and on all day!

belated birthday blessings and besitos, amiga! life is just beginning for you and it gets better every single moment. turning 50 was my best birthday yet. can't wait for the big 60. and yes, turning off all screens heals the brain, heart, and ever-seeing eyes. may your days grow toward the sun. always.

Happy, happy birthday, Mary Ann. And, for good measure, Buon Compleanno, Mary Ann (or Marianna)!
You have started off the New Year, the birthday year and your leave of absence with a bang! It's going to be a good one.

I'm so glad you had a lovely birthday Mary Ann.
Once upon a time, when I was your age now, a wise old lady who was the age I am now, said to me, "You don't realize it yet, but you are still so young, enjoy your life - every minute of it", and I do, and it's good see you do too.

Happy, Happy Birthday to YOU!! I've not been reading many blogs lately (or writing on my own), or making anything, or getting my art groove on. But I do find time every once in a while to stop here because you always give me a smile. Love what you are doing and how you are doing it. It puts paint in my mind, paper in my thoughts, and smiles on my face. All good. And I am going to be 49 next month. Not quite sure how I feel about that. Somehow 50 sounds better then 49. 49 sounds like a precipice. 50 sounds like the top of the tower. :) Happy, Glorious Birthday Wishes!

Welcome to fifty and fabulous! I'm seven years into my fifties and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that has come with each year. Very freeing! My wish for you is that this year is the best ever!

happy belated birthday wishes! I'm pleased you had such a lovely day! Mx

Waking up and feeling that lightness is the way life should be. I know that you will fill yourself with wonderful sights, sounds, smells, and colors. Have you read the children's book "Frederick" by Leo Leonni? Make it a part of your time off. You will understand why this is such an important time for you and those around you.

Well, well, well! You have entered the best decade of your life. I loved my 50's and 60's. Now I'm 73 and still loving life. Enjoy your sabbatical, you're going to discover many wonderful things.

Hope you enjoy your art retreat. Can't wait to hear all about it. Hope you take lots of photos to show us.


I am doing it too, and enjoying the stretchy strangeness and spaciousness of it, and then, later, the happier-to-engage thing I've had with the new techno-toy learning too. Productive and Peaceful.
Another Thing to be grateful for you having inspired...
: )
Fab Restaurant.
50's the Best. I'm half-way thru, think I may stay 50 for a while. I mean, more than six more months.
Don't you Love the feeling of "I made it to 50, don't be messin wit me.' ?!!!

Hey girl! Happy birthday and welcome to the 50's! I'll be moving on to the next decade later this year - yikes!
Have a great year!

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of friendly smiles
For golden happy hours—
Flowers (and shamrocks) at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Happy Birthday and a (modified) Irish blessing for this special day. And thank you for your classes; I certainly enjoyed my trip to Venice. Wishing you many more trips for your future!

beautiful birthday view-sounds like you made the right choice for you at this point in your life. enjoy! I turn 50 this yr too-i think your 50 yrs have been more interesting than mine :)

Welcome to the next and best part of life :)
Enjoy the ride!

Happy Birthday!

Wow! So many greetings! And so many from those of us on the other side of 50 (or 60! LOL)
Hope this coming year is a wonderful one for you Mary Ann! As I think I mentioned before, you have given yourself the greatest gift of all -- TIME! Time to be free to create or do whatever you want! Enjoy!

Happy Birthday! This is a great

Happy Birthday dear Mary Ann. Welcome to the big kids room; we have fun too.
Soooo glad you took a time out for yourself.
Life is sweeter for the rest of us with you in the world. xo

Happy Birthday Mary Ann! A glorious leave of absence sounds like a perfect present. Enjoy every moment.

WELCOME to the Other Side. It's not too bad over here. You are old enough to just not listen to the garbage, old enough to know to save your breath in many instances, young enough to crave adventure and exploring and just right for who you are and where you find yourself. I love being 62 5/6. It just gets better and better (and the parts that don't get easier to ignore!)

I, too, love my early morning time. I do share mine with electronics, but within reason. I think. I write. I stay in touch with my children who live far, far away. I art journal sometimes. I putter. I cook. It's goooooooood.

My birthday gift to you is this: Thank you. You have given me so much---creativity, great blog reading, beautiful photographs, new techniques, a yen to visit Venice (and to return to Bergen), some good recipes (your Meyer Lemon Marmalade is scrumptious!) and the knowledge that there is someone "out there" who is a member of my tribe, who understands and loves the same things I do, yet has her own spin on it all. You have brought to me so much inspiration and knowledge, laughs and delight and some really good reads. You have improved my life. I thank you most sincerely and I treasure your being. Live long and prosper!


I love how you're celebrating your 50th year! and I love that view from your 'birthday' restaurant. BTW, do you think during this sabbatical you might think about venturing up to Puget Sound for an art retreat at Art 'n Soul? I'd love to work with you! It's my 60th year and can't wait!

I recently turned 50 also! I love how you say that we are now full grown cats! I do feel like it is a new beginning, this second half journey that we are on...

I am just finishing up my master's degree program and then I hope to move and take a 6 week road trip vacation - that is the dream anyway...it is my 50th birthday gift to myself.

I love following along on your adventures!

MEOWWW ... Belated wishes for a wonderful day and wonder filled year. I too, need to ignore technology for a few hours each morning. I find that whatever I do early in the day, influences my entire day. Better to be creative and forget about the tech world for a while. I hope you enjoy your alpaca visit. And believe me, spending time with sis and a friend at an art retreat ... SPECTACULAR!

Happy Birthday

My birthday wish is that the alpaca is a cloud of silky wonderful that you can plunge your hand into, up to the wrist. Hey, BTW, I just finished "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore" and looooved it. Just the right jumble of intrigue, wizards, old books, dreamy bookshops\libraries, and talented people pursuing their passions. It was unpredictable and lovely.

Hey Mary Ann...it all sounds perfect. Alpacas are the cutest,softest things ever. I visited an alpaca farm at (Canadian) Thanksgiving and loved them! Also, I do hope you share about that art retreat. My "writers biz group"--that's a group of writers who get together to talk writing and business and encourage each other to grow as writers has just decided to have monthly art therapy days. We made little mini books in December and had such a great day. I can only believe that weekend art retreats are next. I've done it as scrapbookers--now I can't wait to do it with a little different flavor! Have fun--with everything.

Happy Birthday from New Zealand. I think you have birthday good wishes from all around the world. that will make this an extra special year! I have nearly finished my Venice journal. Started a NZ travel journal and used the style as an inspiration for a Guest book for a special 21st present! Can't do better than that from one class .... Priceless!! xx Michelle

Happy Birthday! Wow, that view from the restaurant! You are about to have the best year ever, I for one can't wait to hear your stories. And an alpaca farm! Wow! Xx

Oh a very Happy Birthday missy. You are still a kitten (with cat ideas of course)! Your dinner sounds wonderful and the view wow. I had a friend down the road with Alpacas. They are very soft and oh so sweet. I am having trouble journaling as of late. Can't get it down on paper. More like journaling in my head. So I paint... Enjoy your mornings and the sunshine.

Happy Birthday to you! My birthday is today (10th), and I'm 58. The 50s are a great time in your life. Not too old to still do lots of fun things. Of course, I would love to be there and touch that alpaca too. I'm a knitter and spinner, and have played with alpaca fiber and yarn. It's heavenly! Enjoy your upcoming outings.

You got this so very right Mary Ann. Enjoy every single day and moment. I can't think of a better way to celebrate 50 than taking time for yourself, to do whatever you want, when you want. I know each day will be filled with that special magic that only you can spin. Here's to 50!!!!!! Insert standing ovation and much raucous applause. ;)

Hope you got my birthday message via Facebook. If not, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Fifty hasn't looked so good (as you) in a long time -- and 60 is even better! Enjoy the alpaca farm -- when I was in Italy in 2007, the first 10 days were spent on an alpaca farm in Umbria, learning natural dyeing and poking around innumerable wonderful places in Umbria and Tuscany.

Oh my my my. Happiest of days to you. May your day bring you as much joy and sparkle to you as you do every day for those of us who truly love and admire you. Eat cake!

this was my turn to leave 60 and quite a hit. Enjoy your sabbatical. you will find it a tempting world out there. have fun.

Happy Birthday! The year I turned 50 was the most amazing year of my life! Until I turned 60 last year my e-mail tagline was "After 50 - life positively sparkles!" I know this will be true for you as well. You're certainly off to a wonderful start.
Erin in Morro Bay

!!Happy 50 + 1 day Birthday from Kansas City!!
Sipping coffee on a silent technology-free morning is a modern world treasure. My kids are both still asleep and these quiet mornings are just what's needed to get some of those to-do list things done. Not just the, "clean the toilet" list...but the, "make ice cream" and "rip the guts out of that 1960's children's lit book" kind of to-do list...the good stuff. I turn 40 this year...and seeing you turn 50 in all this artistic splendor gives me hope that this artistic drought I'm in will end. Love my kids...but there's not much time for thinking, sipping coffee quietly...or art projects!

hope you have wonder-filled day and whole year too! i am glad you feel so free and good. enjoy everyday! happiest of birthdays!!!

In the words of Dr. Seuss:

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive
who is you-er than you!
You are what you are!
That's a great thing to be!
So Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday from me!

Wishing you a creative, happy, healthy year filled with wonderful adventures and joy! And eat cake!

p.p.s. i always have to ask: did AARP send you a notice the day before, the week before, or six months before your birthday? my informal poll has shown that they may be slipping...

WHAT is the point of my coming over here a DAY LATE? HUH?


p.s. I love yamashiro's. Also, journaling. What I do is, I sit with my chai tea latte spiked with espresso and I have approximately 47K pens, markers, pencils, wc pencils, pastels, markers, did I say pens? surrounding my journal, which is a journal that I bought long ago and have been steadily filling, but by the time I get all my charcoals, pens, pencils, markers, wc pencils, paint pens, did I say charcoals, around me, I don't have room to open the journal. So Scout and I look out the front window. Love it!

Happy Birthday!! Would you bring home an alpaca?? We can keep it in my yard... no one will know..
it'll b our secret... we can get it a fez to wear... come on.You can name it... :)

Happy Happy birthday! Sounds like you are celebrating well.

Happy Birthday, Mary Ann!! Thank you so much for all the inspiration you have so graciously poured on all of us!! I can't wait to live vicariously through your next adventures. Here's to an amazing 50th year!!

Wishing you all the best on your special day...Happy Birthday! I have to say you look great at 50!

Well, I'm not doing it yet, but I'm sure as hell thinking about it because it's an excellent idea. In that same vein, go look at the little booklet Practice Being Human. http://www.superdilettante.com/human/PracticeBeingHuman.pdf

It's all about unplugging from the web and getting back in touch with your mind, your inner workings. I couldn't take it to the degree she does, but I certainly should be able to handle a couple hours a day.

Happy, Happy Birthday. I'm so excited for your new-found freedom. It's interesting to know that there was heaviness, anxiety in your life. I admit I'd idealized your life (Teacher by day, artist by night....what could be better?) Funny how we think everyone else has it better than we do...but we are all on this planet together, working through every bit of our humanness (happy and sad, good and bad) together.

Hey- A birthday book recommendation if you haven't read it..."The Mysterious Benedict Society". I'm reading it to my 7 year old and we both are on the edge of our seats (Well. Not really. We are lounging in bed together, but it is exciting!)

Hope this sabbatical is everything you wish for and a little bit more for good measure!

Hi Mary Ann! Happiest birthday wishes!! Welcome to the club! It does indeed only get better. A beautiful kind of inner freedom comes with 50 and beyond. It's exciting to think what the next 50 years will hold! xoxox frannie

Happy Birthday Mary Ann - sounds like you had the perfect day.
So happy for you that you´re doing the leave of absence.
it´s just perfect

Happy Birthday Mary Ann! May this be just the beginning of a year filled with abundance, joy, and creativity!

Happy Birthday!!! I love your art and your blog. I can not wait to get a hold of the new issue of Art Journaling to read the article on you. Do I sound like a crazy fan? I promise I'm harmless. I just find your travels and your journals so inspiring. The alpaca farm sounds fantastic!

Wishing you oodles of happiness on this fantabulous birthday and throughout the year!!!

Welcome to the half century club! I'm excited about your upcoming visit to an alpaca farm, that sounds so cool. When I was a kid, my friend had an alpaca rug hanging on one of the walls in her house (her parents had brought it home from their travels) - I would always "pet" it when I walked by, it was sooo soft and fluffy. I've always wanted to meet one in person. Can't wait to read about your visit!

Happy birthday! Trust me--it just keeps on getting better!

Hope you had a lovely birthday, and I wish you a stupendous 50th year! Mop up all the possibilities like gravy on a plate! :D

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful gift you have given yourself for your fiftieth year-a leave of absence and freedom to do what you want. Your fifties are the BEST years I think. You know who you are-you don't care so much what anyone thinks-you are free to be just who you want to be!! Enjoy!!

happy late birthday! i love your present to yourself - enjoy every minute of it. hurray! you're 50!

happy birthday mary ann. so glad that you are having this break. sometimes it is just needed. enjoy all you adventures while you can and hopefully next year you will be restored and ready to go again. I know that the little monkeys are missing you. and about venice, I am calling unfair! for those of us who can't even go with you on virtual travel I for one have greatly missed seeing pics of some of the great places you visited. how about sharing a few with us, pleeeeeeease.

Mary Ann, I am so happy you are enjoying your birthday so much. I don't even remember turning 50, or even 60 for that matter. Never have mastered the art of just being!
The idea of a sabbatical is a marvelous gift to yourself and I know you will savor every moment of it.

I have reached the mighty age of 70 and haven't retired, just changed directions as I now have my own business. Thanks to classes like yours I have learned to do things more for myself now. This is a good thing.

Happy Birthday. May your time off be an adventure filled with laughter and wonder and cocktails.

sounds like you are rolling into this second half full steam! i can't wait to hear about your art retreat with sister.
i am looking forward to my retirement and the idea of waking up with no anxiety, etc. all of those adventures just waiting for me!! happy birthday to you.

Wishing you a wonderful birthday, and glorious year! It sounds like you are already well on your way with that :-) PS I, too, am a Capricorn. Must be why we 'sea goats' love all that ocean in Venice (not really sure what a sea goat is, but, I like the idea of it.) love ya bunches, Head Chimp!

And many more, Mary Ann! I will join you later this year, and I'm planning a big year for myself with trips and new experiences. Always eng!njoy your blog posts, thanks for sharing.


Well Happy Happy birthday girl!! So glad that this time is so easy ans relaxing for you- I know you are working hard but it is on your terms!! WHoo HOO for you!! Enjoy your time, sounds like you have great plans!! This is the phase of your life where birthday numbers matter not!!! I am loving my 50's- all that matters is what matters to ME not what other's who I don't even know, think!! So liberating!! Wish i could get to the morning without tech, but my schedule will not really allow me to give up that time as I would not have time to get back to it latter in my day!!!
HAve a glorious weekend!!!!

Very Happiest of all Birthdays to you Mary Ann! May this 50th year be spectacular! xo

May you continue to have peace and fun. Your soul is happy, you gave yourself the best birthday, a years respite. Enjoy your new found joy and don't worry, your next decision will come to you.

Happy Birthday, Mary Ann! Enjoy everything good for as long as you want! Birthdays may come around only once a year, but celebrations never have to end!

This must be one of your best birthdays ever - no commitment to the stress of your employment and venturing into new territory of silent mornings. Who knows where else this time will lead you. Your birthday sounds delicious, with a view. xodonna

Happy Birthday all the way from South Africa, Miss Mary Ann!! I just knew you were a fantastic Capricorn! Us goats rock! I'm still very jealous of your sabbatical, but wish you unspeakable joy as you relish this time of otherness, of going slowly and more mindfully.

Congrats on the big 50! I'm there in two weeks as well! Have thoroughly enjoyed the TTV class, its been a fntastic ride, thanks for taking us along! I'm back at work (in early childhood) after a two week break and the days are crazy, but on the weekends I love to sit and journal and drool over my caffeine intake for a couple of hours before the business of the day begins.Yup, that should be compulsory for every one!
another hottie from Oz! LOL!

Happy Birthday, Miss Mary Ann!! We're only a few months apart in age as you may recall. I've been 50 for 3 months, and while I have noticed physical changes for sure, it's also a great privilege to age I think. Wisdom don't just happens!

Happy, happy birthday Mary Ann.

I am so glad you are enjoying 'your' time, no hassles, no pressure, no anxieties. relish it. do.

Love the idea of a techy free couple of hours in the morning. may have to follow suite!

also hot in Australia

Happy Birthday! Welcome to the second half. Try everything this year!

Happy birthday to you. I have enjoyed both the Venice trip and RoD, thank you. I love an early morning coffee, the quiet time, opening up the ipad to see what the rest of the world has been doing overnight.

Hot in Australia

Happy Birthday, Mary Ann! May your year be filled with happiness, love, laughter and wonderful experiences.

Happy, Happy Birthday to you! :)

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