Monday, September 21, 2015

PJ's Birthday Bash - - Patience Griffin


I love birthdays! For those of you who are Dish regulars, this will not come as a surprise. In fact, I love them so much that I decided to extend this year's celebration beyond the actual day (yesterday) to the whole week. Every day a different author will join the celebration with a special post and every day I'll have giveaways!

Today's birthday guest is one of my favorite new authors, Patience Griffin. Patience's debut contemporary romance, To Scotland With Love was a double RITA finalist this year and one of my favorite books of 2014. She now has three published books in her Scotland-set Kilts and Quilts series and is currently in Scotland (le sigh) working on more. Here for your enjoyment is a new, original, scene starring Graham and Cait Buchanan, the hero and heroine from To Scotland With Love along with a favorite secondary character, Cait's grandmother, Deydie and a couple "new" faces. Thank you, Patience. I love it! 
~PJ



PJ gasped as the taxi made its way down the bluff and she caught sight of her home for the next four days. It was more beautiful than she imagined when she’d booked the Kilts and Quilt retreat online—a special birthday present she’d given herself.

Down below was Gandiegow, the perfect Scottish village wedged between the vast North Sea and the bluff they were descending. Gandiegow only had sixty-three cottages and was known for three things: commercial fishing, being the hometown of Graham Buchanan, the famous BBC actor, and of course, the Kilts and Quilts retreat for quilters.

As the taxi pulled into the parking lot, PJ’s stomach did the Highland jig. Yes, she was two hours late. Yes, she should’ve built more time into her schedule to get here. But she had made it. She paid the driver, scooted out of the car, and pulled on her Michael Kors backpack, ready for her adventure. Three minutes later, she was rolling her bag into town with a map of the village in her hand and couldn’t stop smiling. She wondered how she would be received.

Quilting Central was easy to find among the scant row of businesses with its Nine-Patch sign hanging out front. As PJ opened the door, a bell above her jingled. At the same time, her nose was tantalized with the most wonderful smell of beef—stew perhaps. The room came alive, all the women jumping up at once, and rushing toward her. She glanced around, wondering if someone important had entered the room, like Graham. But he wasn’t behind her so she braced herself.

An old portly woman barely five feet tall reached her first and grabbed her arm. “Happy birthday, lass! I’m Deydie. We were wondering if ye were ever going to get here.” She motioned to the others. “I let them go ahead and eat, but I saved ye some of my special birthday stew.”

PJ was confused. “How did ye know it was my birthday? I didn’t tell anyone.”

Another woman joined Deydie, just as old but tall and thin. “Yere friend told us. I’m Bethia.”

“What friend?” PJ scanned the room, but didn’t see anyone she knew.

Deydie looked around. “Where did she go? The one with the funny name.” As if Deydie wasn’t a bit strange for a name as well.

The door to the restroom opened and out walked Janga. Janga?

“What are you doing here?” PJ exclaimed.

Janga rushed forward and gave her a quick hug. “I wanted to surprise you.”

“Well, you did. It’s wonderful.”

“Yes, but me being here is only half of the surprise.”

“Really? What are you up to?”

Janga looked like a near relative of the Cheshire Cat. “Cait, come here. I want you to meet PJ.”
A thirty-something woman with a nice smile joined them. “Hi. It’s lovely to meet ye.” Her accent wasn’t completely Scottish, but she definitely had mischief in her eyes, too. She winked at Janga. 

“Now?”

“Yes, now,” Janga said.

“Now, what?” PJ didn’t get to say anymore.

Deydie tugged on PJ’s arm. “Go get yere stew. Now.”

“But I want to know what’s going on.”

“Don’t worry yere pretty arse about it. The bowls and spoons are there as they should be. We’ve been waiting to cut the cake until after ye ate. Now, get to it.”

PJ did as she was told, filling a bowl, and then walking it over to where Janga sat with Cait, the two of them whispering.

“Come on,” PJ half-whined. “It is me.  And you know I don’t do well with surprises. Especially when I know one is coming and I have to wait.”

“Be patient,” Janga laughed.

The bell over the door jingled. All eyes moved in that direction, including PJ’s. When tall, dark, and gorgeous Graham Buchanan strolled through with a rose in his hand, she barely restrained herself from rushing him the way the quilting ladies nearly tackled her. Graham seemed to be looking for someone, and when his gaze fell on Cait, it dawned on PJ who Cait was.

“You’re Cait Buchanan!” PJ gaped at the luckiest woman in the world, married to the most swoon-worthy man on the planet.

“Aye.” Cait smiled, her eyes still on her husband. Weirdly, she tilted her head to the side in PJ’s direction.

As Graham made his way over, PJ was worried she might stop breathing. Although, it might not be awful if she passed out, maybe Graham would give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It took her a moment to realize he was smiling at her now!

He walked to her, holding out the rose. “For you,” he said in his wonderful Scottish burr that PJ knew and loved from his movies that she’d watched at least twice.

PJ latched onto Janga’s arm so she wouldn’t fall out of her chair. Was it wrong to lust after a man when his wife was sitting not one foot away on the other side of her? Nah. Hers was only a movie star crush. She could tell, the way his eyes kept flitting to his wife’s that what they had was the real deal.

PJ took the rose. “Thank you.” Her voice sounded like it had been filtered through sandpaper.

Graham leaned down and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Happy birthday, PJ. Enjoy yere stay in Gandiegow. The best place in the world.”

PJ couldn’t move. She could only soak up the moment. Graham Buchanan kissed me! Like the kiss had been a cue, the quilting ladies started singing the traditional song while Bethia carried a candle-lit cake in her direction.

PJ turned to Janga and squeezed her hand. “I don’t know how you pulled this off, but this is the best birthday ever!”

The End



Tell me about your best birthday ever. 
Or, tell me what gift would make it your best birthday ever.

One randomly chosen person will receive a 
package of books from my stash. (U.S. only)

One randomly chosen person will receive one of 
Patience Griffins' books. (Open to all - Winner's choice)


 
In the delightful new Kilts and Quilts novel by the author of To Scotland with Love andMeet Me in Scotland, the Real Men of Scotland are waiting. And it’s a match made in Gandiegow… 

Kit Woodhouse’s matchmaking business is such a success, she’s expanding to the Highlands of Scotland where the hot, prosperous, and kilted are anxious to connect. Now, looking to fill her stable with eligible bachelors, Kit’s arrived in Gandiegow to recruit potential Real Men of Scotland. It’s not until she meets her tour guide that she discovers just how real they can be.

With his sexy grin, jeans, and black wellies, Ramsay Armstrong is an unpolished hulk of a Scottish fisherman—and a skeptic when it comes to romance. Not exactly a man of “pairing attributes” when talking marriageable matches, but he does make Kit’s heart beat a little faster. Maybe it’s the scent of the sea in his hair. Maybe it’s the challenge. Maybe it’s the thrill of the unexpected. Then again, maybe it’s love.

67 comments:

  1. My best birthday was the one the first year we were married. My husband was on a B-52 crew during the Vietnam war. He was sent on his second tour 5 weeks after we got married. He was scheduled to come home Dec. 18, 1972, but was restricted to the base the night before. They started the Linebacker bombing of North Vietnam the next morning. The first B-52's were shot down shortly thereafter. He made sure to call me every day to let me know he was OK. It was a long few weeks, but he finally came home in mid-January. We celebrated a late Christmas and my January birthday that week.

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    1. I can see how that is your best birthday. Great story.

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    2. LibraryPat,
      I can't imagine what you went through during those days, but I can imagine what a wonderful celebration you had when he returned home safely. I bet you think about that birthday every year on your big day.
      Take care,
      Patience

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    3. Thank you for sharing your story, Librarypat. I'm so happy your hubby came home safe and what a wonderful birthday that must have been!

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  2. Birthdays are a big deal in my family, so every birthday has been loads of fun.

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    1. Yay! Birthdays should all be fun, right? :)

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  3. Happy, happy, happy birthday, PJ, from Scotland!!!
    For many years now, I've celebrated birthday weeks. My children liked the idea so much that they declared they needed a birthday week also. It was grand fun to say 'yes' to small things during their birthday week. And it's especially fun to say 'yes' to myself! There have been emergency situations where I have declared birthday months, but that is only saved for special occasions and not an every year occurrence. Enjoy your week, PJ!
    Hugs,
    Patience

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    1. Thank you for my wonderful birthday present, Patience! I just may print this, frame it and hang it in my office. I love it that much! :)

      I do like the idea of a birthday celebration week. Why limit it to one day? Hope you're having a wonderful time in Scotland. I saw the photo of the pottery that you posted on Facebook this morning. A very dangerous place! I'm afraid I'd be shipping home the entire store!

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    2. Oh, PJ, I went back again today. Sigh...there is a teapot that is calling to me. I think it will give me incentive to come back next year. Maybe I should take orders next year when I come since the only place you can buy their pottery is here! They don't do internet or ship. They are such a lovely family. I made a small video and posted it on Facebook, but I think I swung the camera around too fast. I'm going to run over there before I leave tomorrow and say goodbye to the pottery. Maybe I'll pick you up a little birthday gift...

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  4. Great way to celebrate PJ
    Loved your story ... I always suspected that Janga was a plotter (rather than pantser) LOL

    I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for celebrating birthdays but do remember a few years back when my grand daughter organised a celebration for me. I duly rolled up at her house dressed in my finery, including Dr Who scarf. After pass the parcel, which I think was rigged .... never play cards with my grand... We got on to dancing and I had to choose the music. Naturally I chose my favourite rock songs with Bill Haley among others. Had to teach the grand how to jive! Her reaction "you are so seventies grandpa!"

    Then came the cake, baked by ... you guessed it .... and covered with burning candles. Took me two goes to blow em all out ... shows I'm getting past it.
    But the cake was delicious.

    Happy Birthday week PJ.
    And may there be many more!

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    1. Q, I figure any birthday I'm still here to celebrate is a birthday worth celebrating! :)

      Love your taste in birthday music!

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  5. What a fun birthday present! One of my best birthdays was when I turned 40. The people at work spent the day giving me fun gag gifts. It certainly made turning 40 easier!

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    1. How lovely of your co-workers to turn #40 into a fun event!

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  6. Hubby and I share the same birthday. In 2013, our fourth grandchild was born just days before our day. He was (and continues to be) a GREAT birthday present. Happy week, PJ!

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    1. Wow, what are the odds that you would marry someone with the same birthday? That's so cool!

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    2. LSUreader,
      That is amazing! It's like the stars were all lined up correctly! Take care...

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  7. My best birthday present was when I turned the big 40. I'd spent most of the day crying at becoming "so old". My friends had arranged a surprise birthday party for me, complete with a male stripper. I was very disappointed in the stripper.......my little finger is bigger!! Regardless, we all had a blast and I shall remember it forever.

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    1. I was very disappointed in the stripper.......my little finger is bigger!!

      It's a very good thing there was nothing in my mouth when I read this! ROFL!

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    2. I was very disappointed in the stripper.......my little finger is bigger!!
      Oh, dear...I'm laughing pretty hard here in Scotland!

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  8. Hope your birthday was a wonderful one. Our family was never too big on birthdays but now that my two girls are grown and along with a husband and long-time boyfriend and my hubby, we usually go out for a nice dinner and movie and a few gifties. It makes for a wonderful day spending time with family (and I don't have to cook lol).

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    1. Thanks, catslady! How nice that you have family close by to celebrate with.

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    2. I'll add on to PJ's note...AND you don't have to cook! I used to love that part about birthday!

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  9. What a wonderful gift, Patience! I feel as if I have been gifted along with, PJ, so I'll add my thanks to hers. This story is a treasure!

    PJ, my dear, I wish you a joyous week as your celebration continues. If you have just a fraction of the happiness you bring to others, your birthday cup will overflow.

    I feel so blessed that my birthdays are filled with greetings and gifts from family and friends that my most recent birthday is always my favorite.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it an awesome story, Janga? I knew you'd love it too!

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    2. Janga, I was as surprised as PJ when you popped up in Gandiegow. You're pretty crafty that way! And PJ, if you like wine, when your cup overflows, I hope it's with a nice Merlot.
      Hugs!

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  10. Birthdays are so special and meaningful. My best ever birthday was when I turned 60 and my husband took my to a Paul Anka concert and we were away for the night.

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    1. Sounds like a fun birthday, petite. Love Paul Anka!

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  11. The best gift that I was ever given for my birthday was to be have son born on that day. We now celebrate together which is fun and lovely.

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  12. Hi PJ! Hi Patience! PJ, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I hope you have a brilliant week ahead with all your friends coming around and presenting gifts. Patience, loved the scene!!!

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    1. Hi, Anna,
      I could just see PJ coming to Gandiegow and dealing with Deydie and the other quilting ladies. Writing it was a lot of fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    2. Oh, Deydie and co will want to adopt her. I always do! :-)

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    3. Thanks, Anna! I'm so excited you'll be joining the fun on Wednesday. I only wish we were in the same place to party in person!

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    4. Oh, me too! At least we can meet at the Dish for some birthday fun!

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  13. Great birthday story for PJ, Patience! I could visualize the whole thing as I read it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEK! PJ!!!!

    I don't have one super standout birthday memory. My husband always tries to make it a great day - even when we both have work. :-)

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    1. Glenda, the fact that they have all been good is a pretty awesome memory!

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  14. My best birthday is today. I think the birthday that you are celebrating is always the best one. *smile*
    The only thing that could make it better would be for someone to give me a long-arm quilter for a gift. Somehow...I don't think that is going to happen. *laughing*

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    1. Happy Birthday, Becky! I hope it's a beautiful day filled with hugs, smiles, and wonderful surprises!

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    2. Becky,
      I thought you would wish for Jamie Fraser for your birthday!
      You have a lovely birthday today!
      Take care,
      Patience

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  15. I don't have a favorite birthday, but since yesterday was my birthday too, PJ, I'll choose it as my favorite. My birthdays are always special if I can spend time with my children and grandchildren. This year we had to make do with phone calls, but that's ok since we do get together a lot. Loved the birthday story! Have a wonderful birthday week, PJ.

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  16. My favorite birthday was the one where my first child (a son) was born nine days before my birthday as a wonderful early present!

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  17. My best birthday present would be to go back to New Orleans!!!

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  18. What a great post! Happy birthday-week, PJ!!

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  19. I've read all three of the Kilts and Quilts book. Love them. I'm waiting for The Accidental Scot. I've pre-ordered it. :) My mother loves birthdays. She's a sad one when she doesn't have a celebration. I'm trying to remember the best one for me. I would have to say the carving of my name given to me by my husband, then my boy-friend, was the best gift. The next best was the 50th birthday celebration hosted by my daughter and my niece. It had a Hawaiian theme. Happy birthday week, PJ!
    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

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  20. My 40th was my best, since I met the love of my life the day before. Today is your birthday, but it's my 'Glenn Day.' We married 4 1/2 months later and today is my 24th Glenn Day. Blessings on your special day.

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    1. Happy 'Glenn Day', LBcsusan! (It sounds a bit Scottish, doesn't it?)

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    2. Glad you're having such a wonderful time across the pond. I miss you guys (FPWA) so much and thought about all a y'all when I was in Plano Saturday.

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  21. the Barbie for my 3rd birthday

    Denise

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    1. Hi, Denise,
      I still have my Barbie from my 2nd birthday. I loved Barbies! Especially since both of my grandmothers knit clothes for them and sewed them outfits, too.
      Thanks for the memory!

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  22. Great to celebrate your birthday for the week. I first read Patience earlier this year. I won her 3rd book through Goodreads. I had to go read the other 2 books. Love her. I am so happy she is taking us all on her trip to Scotland. My favorite birthday was my 50th. First because all my doctors said I wouldn't be here and second because my kids surprised me. The day started with hubby making me breakfast. I received beautiful peach color roses. My favorite. I went to lunch with the ladies from the lung rehab center. We had a blast. Kids called and sent me texts. When we got home, there were balloons and cake. It seems my brother & sister in-law came over to decorate. I was happy. I am a simple person. The kids called at the same time to wish me a happy birthday. I blew out my candles. Then my husband brings out my gift. They bought me a laptop with all the bells & whistles. I just sat there and cried.

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    1. Oh, Pamela, you're making me tear up...and I really don't like to cry before bed (it's 11:30 p.m. here in Crail, Scotland). What a wonderful birthday story!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  23. Patience, thank you so much for helping me kick off my birthday celebration week and for checking in so frequently from Scotland! Have a wonderful stay and keep those photos coming!

    Readers, follow along on Patience's grand Scottish adventure at https://www.facebook.com/PatienceGriffinAuthor/

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  24. My 7th Birthday was on Labor Day weekend when we had a local fair - I got to go on the rides as much as I wanted then we had a cookout and my favorite cake (Chocolate Cake with white boiled frosting). I was really tired at the end of that day.

    Happy Birthday to us September babies!

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  25. I love the idea of the birthday week! This last birthday (in August) was great! The kids brought the grandkids and pizza and we had a grand time!
    On a different note, I just started To Scotland with Love yesterday! I'm enjoying it so much! My family tree has its roots in Scotland and I like to be able to connect with my ancestors like that.
    Happy Birthday, PJ! :)

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  26. Happy Happy Bday, PJ. Mine is end of next month.

    Best bday was a surprise breakfast that my girlfriends had for me.

    Best gift would be some gcs to my fav restaurants as well as big gc for amazon or b&n. It wouldn't hurt if the Dodgers nailed down the NL WEST sooner than later.

    ladbookfan

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  27. Hope you are having a fabulous birthday, PJ! Enjoy every minute of it because you deserve it. Hope you get to curl up with a good book!

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  28. PJ! You deserve a year long celebration!!! Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for such a fun story! Anytime I get amazon giftcards for my birthday, I'm happy :) thanks for sharing!

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  29. Happy Birthday, PJ. Hope it is all you wish for.

    My best bday was my surprise 40th a few years ago with all my friends and family.
    Karen T.

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  30. My birthday is in October, so I've had lots of fun Halloween-themed birthday parties!
    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

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  31. Happy birthday once more! Every year it's a great birthday for me. It's a blessing to have my family with me year after year and that's the best gift of all :)

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  32. All of my birthdays have been nice but growing up we tended to just have a big dinner at home, lots of kidding around and of course, cake. Celebrations were mild in comparison to the norm I suppose but we felt that every day was a blessing. College was the first time I was away from home. When my birthday rolled around in my freshman year, I went about my day as usual. But my roommate and several of the girls in my dorm got together and threw a surprise pizza party for me. It sounds like humble fare but we were all of us pretty strapped for cash and I knew how hard everyone worked to make ends meet. I was incredibly moved.

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  33. All of my birthdays have been nice but growing up we tended to just have a big dinner at home, lots of kidding around and of course, cake. Celebrations were mild in comparison to the norm I suppose but we felt that every day was a blessing. College was the first time I was away from home. When my birthday rolled around in my freshman year, I went about my day as usual. But my roommate and several of the girls in my dorm got together and threw a surprise pizza party for me. It sounds like humble fare but we were all of us pretty strapped for cash and I knew how hard everyone worked to make ends meet. I was incredibly moved.

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  34. Happy Birthday Week PJ. What a great story with you and Janga. I've had so many wonderful birthdays , birthdays were and are big deals in our family. Now if I could have Jamie Fraser or Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series for a birthday that would be the best. :
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  35. Happy Birthday.

    Best bdays were spent when my husband was alive. He always me it special.

    Patty B.

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