Birthday Hijinx and Shenanigans May 2018

After my last post in April about irrational fears, my sister/best friend reminded me that Grandmother Zenobia (from Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes) also has a phobia of the number twenty-three. It’s called Eikositriophobia. Google it, I dare you. I didn’t see the movie “The Number 23” starring Jim Carey when it first came out, but I remember researching the superstition about the number. When the time came for me to decide the birth date for my cursed twins David and Anton, the answer was crystal clear to me: 5/23. Born under the sign of Gemini, it would be clever that they are twins under a twin sign! Without revealing any spoilers, I threw as many weird things as I could at the boys. There were lots of strange facts that sparked my imagination, such as each parent contributes twenty-three chromosomes to their child, or that it supposedly takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the body.

This peculiar date was perfect!

In my excitement it didn’t dawn upon me that there was an even greater significance to May twenty third. What could be greater, you might ask?

It’s MY birthday.

So yea, the twins are cursed, and blessed. Blessed I say, because I love my birthday. It isn’t about receiving gifts; however, if you give me a present I will graciously accept it (wink wink). To me it’s about celebrating your personal New Year. What were the astronomical odds that you were even born? You made it this far and thank God, you’re fortunate to experience another year.

It genuinely makes me happy when someone – anyone – wishes me happy birthday. I do my best to acknowledge other people’s birthdays too, especially on social media. If we’re friends on Facebook, I will wish you all the best for your special day, even if I might be a day late.

This year I turn 298 (or something there about) so I have many fond memories of my personal New Year. My most recent, favorite birthday memory happened in 2016 on Bourbon street in New Orleans (no shocker if you know me and my love for NOLA.) I wandered into Maison Bourbon to hear some old school jazz. There was a delightful four-piece jazz band, playing great songs to a packed bar. The band leader asked if anyone was celebrating an anniversary or a birthday. Not a soul spoke up. I was solo, and didn’t want to draw attention to myself but the band seemed disappointed that no one responded. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Nervously I raised my hand and said “It’s my birthday.” People applauded! The band asked for my name. I smiled and answered “Sunny,” a nickname that fits my personality when I’m not writing dark, paranormal stories. The band broke into a lively version of “Happy Birthday” and the entire bar sang along. To my delight and surprise they then sang “When the Saints Go Marching In”. My heart soared.

The next night, two of my gal pals flew in from Los Angeles and I took them back to my new favorite spot. When we walked through the door, the band remembered me. “Sunny’s back!” they exclaimed before playing “Let’s go Fly A Kite”. It was the best time ever in terms of birthday shenanigans! The memory still brings me tears of joy.

I enjoy receiving gifts and using celebratory coupons from my favorite restaurants for my birthday month. (A little known fact unless you’re one of the cool ones born under the sign of the twins: we Geminis celebrate for a minimum of a week.) However it’s the wonderful memories I get to reflect on and share with others that I treasure most.

Regardless if you are a Gemini or not, I hope you take the time to celebrate YOUR personal new year too.

New Years Treat January 2018

Hello 2018! If you’re reading this, thank goodness, you’ve made it to a New Year. This January I’ve noticed people aren’t necessarily making specific New Year’s resolutions, but they are making choices to eat healthier, to be more active or to get a better hold of their finances.

It dawned upon me that these are great things to do, but some have restrictions and limitations. Considering what I was going limit myself to in 2018, a question popped in my mind. What are you going to treat yourself to, in 2018? What special thing, big or small are you going to indulge?

My treat? Beignets. Warm, fluffy, French doughnuts covered in mounds of powdered sugar where only the best of the best are found in New Orleans, Louisiana. Carbs be damned! I try to visit New Orleans often. As a matter of fact, I’ve gone to my home away from home several times to research things for my novel GYPSY KISSES AND VOODOO WISHES.

Taking a class from Chef Toya Boudy  when she was at the New Orleans School of Cooking to see how Grandmother Zenobia might prepare her gumbo was essential (and not to mention delicious). While enjoying a swamp tour, I discovered contrary to popular belief in the movies, the bayou does not stink. It is a thriving ecosystem and has a charm of its own. Visiting Marie Laveau’s resting places (yes, there is more than one) was creepy and beautiful. I’m drawn to New Orleans because I am madly in love with the food, music and culture the city offers. If you’ve been there, you know there’s nothing quite like it.

Ah, the beignets from Cafe Du Monde are literally the sugar on top of my happy place.

It seems to me that the past few years have been rough. As a country we’ve seen lots of political changes that separate us more than unite us, we’ve mourned a lot more deaths, and we’ve fought through several life altering natural disasters. Now that 2018 is upon us, I suggest you take a small moment to be nice to yourself. What one special thing are you going to treat yourself to?