I Had THE Surprise of My Life This Weekend! #MomTurns60!!

Hey. You won’t believe what happened to my on Friday! It was the surprise of my life! Read on about what almost gave me a heart attack…

OK, so Friday morning I had to run down to the Career Link Building in Norristown to have a meeting with my career counselor.

I have arrived

My new hang out! I’m ba-a-a-c-kkk!

Remember when I had to go to the “special” workshop for people who were pretty much “unemployable” ( i.e. Old people like me who are sent to pasture?).  Here’s the link to the original post. Just in case:

Putting the Fun in Unemployment

Well, I signed up for an advance computer course—I figured there’s always a better way to handle the frustration with Excel. Plus—who know, maybe Pivot Tables could end up being my friend!


That’s right!  Excel you are so unforgiving!


At times you CAN be hell!

In addition, I could always use more of an in-depth knowledge with Power Point.


Power Point isn’t all that bad–it’s just frustrating with all those insertions of graphs, and bullet points, and charts..and, oi vey!


I’ll be such a pro!

Sadly, the class was filled. But—an opening popped up and I was asked if I would like to step in. Would I??? Heck to the yeah I would!

It was explained it me that in order to be eligible for the course, I would need to show proof that I am, in fact, receiving unemployment benefits and I needed to show proof of who I am. All fine with me. I can understand that completely. So with documentation in hand, I drove off to validate myself.

I even wore pearls

A selfie isn’t good enough proof. I need papers!

I made sure to look nice but not overdressed so I went with a J. Crew Tippi, Old Navy Printed Pixie Pants, Tory Burch Reva flats and a faux pearl necklace.

Old Navy pants outfit for Career Link

A nice casual look for unemployment chic!

Got there and was greeted at the front desk by Bob—what a nice guy. So pleasant and helpful. It changes the dynamics when you are made to feel welcome. I got the vibe that everyone there really wants to make a difference. Bob was also the voice behind the phone call telling me about the opening!

Bob, our master of ceremonies and administrator!

If I was a voice-over talent scout, I would make Bob a star!  He has the greatest voice–and disposition too!

I met with Stephanie, my counselor and after validating myself and presenting my documentation; Stephanie continued to tell me about the great things that Career Link and the State of PA had to offer.

Stephanie My counselor

Stephanie, my counselor. I feel bad that the picture is slightly out of focus, but I was just way too excited to speak with her!!! She’s so nice!

It’s all good, because I joined a networking group and I’ll be at the advanced computer class.

So I left feeling extremely good and happy to be returning to see Bob and Stephanie on Monday and I’m thinking that maybe I can even become hired by Career Link—let’s add “jobs” to my list of delusions!

A trip to pick up some groceries because I’m also in super-diet mode. Fresh produce, chicken that I can portion off when I get home….I’m on “Delusional Cloud Nine”.

No sooner did I get home and change into my slob wardrobe when the doorbell rang. My first thought was “Oh shit. It’s those damn fundamentalist Jesus and Watchtower people getting me to repent”. So I ignored the doorbell. The door rang again. I glanced out the window and noticed a pink duffel bag. My next thought was “Oh..Oona has a bag like that”. Pause. “OMG. Is everything alright?? IS that Oona? What happened???”

What happened next was the ultimate surprise for this mom.

I answered the door. Yes. It was Oona. But also at the door were Jake and Roman. The kids surprised me with a weekend visit for my birthday—and Bonaparte was in on the surprise the entire time! I’m telling you. I almost needed a Depends, I was so surprised! I wasn’t expecting that at all!

CAVEAT. Oona posted a video of my reaction but I’m unable to post it here! My apologies!

Friday night I cooked a mega-sized Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken with Jasmine rice. And every morsel was enjoyed! We sat around the dining room table enjoying good food, wine and conversation.

I’ll tell you, I was in all my Helicopter Mom glory!  I got to cook and even do laundry and ironing!  Bliss. Absolute bliss!

Saturday night the kids took Bonaparte and me to a local French Bistro; Sips. The owner is French and it was nice for Bonaparte and him to exchange pleasantries in their native tongues!


When the owner politely asked me if I spoke French, I told him it depends on how many drinks I have!

We had aperitifs and starters…Crispy Chicken Livers (yum. I’m into offal. I’m “offally” happy to have any kind of organ meat! (Pun definitely intended!) and a fantastic charcuterie platter.

Sips more charcuterie

Our platter of charcuterie was the perfect portion for us all. Ohhh. Bonaparte loved the bread–score for Sips!

Crispy Chicken Livers

I could have made an entire meal on the crispy chicken livers!

Steak Frites…………………………..    Surf ‘n Turf ……………..Proscuitto-wrapped Monkfish.

French Onion Soup–so cheesy….Duck Ragout with Gnocchi and Crab Cakes added to a wonderful meal.

Bonaparte had his usual Steak Frites, I had Duck Ragout with Gnocchi, Roman started with Onion Soup and had the Crab Cakes, Jake had the Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto and Oona had surf ‘n turf.

Room for dessert was coffee, crème brulee and macaron!

We had the best time. The weather even gave the gift of perfection in warm evening temperatures with no wind or humidity. The outside area is fantastic for dining.

The outdoor setting was so peaceful and relaxing.  We will be back–and sooner rather than later!

It certainly was a great way to celebrate turning 60 years old young!

Late night…but an early morning. Oona and I had an adventure at the Lilly For Target roll-out. More to follow later this week. I’m still recovering from that one!

With Jake on his way to a business meeting in DC, and Oona and Roman headed back to New York..this was one memorable weekend!

You know, as a mom, you just want your kids to grow up to be decent and caring adults.  They certainly didn’t have to take the time out of their busy schedules to come and spend time with me. But they did and their “presence” was the best present that I could ever ask for!  Thank you Jake, Roman and Oona.  And thanks to Bonaparte for keeping this secret for a couple of weeks!

I had a few lovely days with the kids–and this song is how I feel right now!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in PA; Lilly for Target. Great Weekends! Surprises for older adults! Birthdays for older adults., Turning 60. Sips Restaurant Phoenixville. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to I Had THE Surprise of My Life This Weekend! #MomTurns60!!

  1. Lori says:

    Glad to hear you had a wonderfully happy birthday! Looking forward to hearing your Target story 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    Glad you had a wonderful birthday weekend. Can’t wait to hear about Target.

  3. Elaine Chromeck says:

    What a lovely surprise for you — how nice!!

  4. Catherine says:

    Thanks for your response, Elaine. I’m still kind of walking on clouds–I’m so happy!

  5. Susan G says:

    I think Bonaparte is a keeper! I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself with your family!

  6. Catherine says:

    Hi Susan–Right?? My Bonaparte is definitely the emperor of my universe and the kids are my center! We really had a fantastic weekend!

  7. Lainy says:

    Happy birthday Catherine! I thoroughly enjoyed reading that amazing suprise story you posted ! Xoxo

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