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Johnsy’s birthday is on Friday. I’ve been thinking for a little while about what I want to do.  This year we’re going to have a birthday dinner for her, with just a few, select friends (Johnsy doesn’t really enjoy crowds of people).  AnniPotts and Johnnycakes, and another friend of Johnsy’s whom I don’t know.  We’re going to have roast chicken with bunches of herbs from the garden, salad (also from the garden), another vegetable, rice, and easy cheesecake for dessert.  For an hors d’oeuvre we’re going to walk out into the garden, pick peas right off the vine, and eat them right there (you wouldn’t believe how good they taste).  It should be pretty nice.

Now I just need to get the house clean ahead of time…

I’m also starting to prepare for family vacation.  This is our family’s annual flirtation with insanity when we pack eleven kids and two parents into a twelve passenger van, load immense amount of random things (which may or may not include the supplies necessary for life and comfort for a week), and trundle off to a cabin on the shores of Lake Erie where cell phones can’t reliably get a signal and the nearest internet connection is a half hour walk away.  The Lake, however, is thirty seconds away just at the bottom of the bluff, the farmers market with amazingly fresh produce is just around the corner, and the nights are quiet and cool.  Everyone brings really interesting books to read, and we trade them around amongst ourselves during the week.  We go swimming in the lake, and get sunburned falling asleep on the beach.  We take turns cooking amazing meals that we eat outside at the picnic table.  The hard part is getting there, but once we’re there… it’s good.

Anyway, there’s lots I need to do before I can leave.  It’s not just the laundry and things.  I still need to plant my birthday rose, and the grass will need to get mowed one last time before I leave.  I started making a list this morning of everything and, well, it’s a lot.  I think by the time I get to my vacation I’m going to really need it!