Sunday, May 27, 2007
betty's birthday, 2007-part 2

Time for "the Cake". Because of the glaring light coming in from that window, Betty needed to be seated with the light behind her, which was fine, except getting a good picture of her blowing out the candles on her cake was a bit difficult, but I managed, sort of.....!Here in this picture above she is pretending to be worn out from blowing out the eight candles on her beautiful and delicious Birthday Cake.....This cake was so rich that almost no one could finish it...And below you can see that I got a special non-chocolate dessert for Dianne because she cannot eat chocolate, (Poor dear...lol)....And the only one who finished every morsal of that Birthday Cake was dear Kim.... It's funny, because all the years I have known Dianne, she has been allergic to chocolate, although she said on Thursday that she does eat it once in a great while, now.... But not that day.....lol. Here is a sweet picture of the Beautiful Seemah..... And here below, a lovely picture of Cousin Carol..... And another shot of Betty, still at the Lunch Table, explaining something to all of us..... Then....it was time to open the presents! I don't think I know anyone who takes more delight in the presents she gets than Betty....and she is so easy to get a present for...again, I cannot think of anyone that is easier...And maybe it is because she takes such delight in whatever she is in any given package..... Always ready for a laugh....I love her pretense of "greed" here in the picture above....lol. Then she began opening all these pretty packages in earnest, as we all watched and enjoyed..... This next picture below is of one of the presents I gave her...It is a new Biography of Ingrid Bergman....in Large Print. Betty loves Biography's and the Large Print versions are really helpful to her...again, because of her Macular Degeneration. Then she opened Kim's present, and it was a wonderful book---(his very last before he died)---by Arthur Miller, one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century..."Death Of A Salesman", "All My Sons", & "After The Fall", to name just a few of his plays.... Betty just loved getting this book by the fabulous Mr. Miller...She actually kissed the book! And here below you can see these two books a bit closer..... And then, Betty opened Seemah's present which she got very very excited about....it is the CD of the English stage musical of the film, "Billy Elliot".... We had all heard that it was fabulous. Dianne was the only one at our little lunch who had seen it in London. Dianne's dear husband, Mark Travis, is a theatre and film director and he had been teaching a class in London, so they were both in London, together and what a great chance to see a lot of West End Theatre....Dianne said that "Billy Elliot" was utterly fantastic! I sure wish I could see it.....And we were all delighted for Betty! Next....Betty opened the other present from me....It is kind of a Joseph's Coat Duffle Bag....rather pretty and very handy for us Theatre Folk.... Betty was already planning on what she was goimg to put in it---All things she had to take to the theatre on Friday because of the play they are doing....And incidentally, Dianne and Seemah are both in this play, too. "Morning's At Seven" by Paul Osborne, and it was directed by Dianne's husband Mark T....When I saw this bag in a catalogue many many weeks ago, I thought it looked like Betty, so....I am happy that she was so happy with it.
Next, Betty opened her present from Annie Guilbert.... As you can see, it is a really beautuful metal and ceramic frame which one could put on a chain and where around the neck. Betty immmediately said..."You know who's picture is going in here..." And we all did know...Her beautiful eleven year old grandaughter who is now 5'3"!
And here in the picture below, Bridget had given Betty this beautiful blue glass pyramid. Betty collects Blue Glass and she absolutely loved this gorgeous piece...It has a little stand, too, so she can put it with all the other blue glass objects that she has collected over the years.....

This next present was from Dianne....Well, actually there were two presents from Dianne....But this one below is a beautiful wooden apple that has this lovely cinnamon aroma to it.... And the idea of an apple as a gift comes from a great theatrical tradition. The Barrymore Family always gave apples to each other on their Opening Nights when they were in a play....And Betty has always loved that idea and always given all the cast members apples---real apples that you can eat---on opening night, weather she was in the play or not. This play was no exception. So, Dianne, knowing what this means to Betty found this really wonderful sweet wooden painted apple for her....Dianne also gave her three incredibly beautiful scarves and here above is one of them....Blue is a favorite color of Betty's.

By the time we finished opening the presents and shmoosed a bit more, Annie had to leave....and it was about 5:30pm....and we had begun at 1:00pm, so everyone kind of started to get ready to depart.....But first, there were a few more laughs to be had.....I don't even remember what it was about, but I know we all were enjoying whatever it was.... And the laughter continued to grow, the way those things do..... And then the 'goodbyes' were being said.... With a big hug by Bridget and Annie..... Annie left and we all stood around a bit more, planning our next "LWL" and then I walked everyone outside and there were further goodbyes......Dianne and Kim hugging with Seemah standing by...each with some Birthday Cake in hand....


Everyone took some cake home, I'm happy to say...Above, that is Bridget facing us and Betty--The Birthday Girl's back is to us....And then just a few more words with Kim & Seemah.... We talked about choosing a play we'd like to read and then getting together here at my house and "reading" it! Now that would be a really fun thing to do, for all of us, but particularly for Kim and for me....

Then, Bridget had turned her car around and I caught the last of the "Ladies Who Lunch" as she went round the curve, going on up over the hill to Betty's House...... What a lovely afternoon we all had, celebrating Betty's 88th Birthday. I know Betty enjoyed herself tremendously, as did we all....And we are already planning the next "Ladies Who Lunch" celebration, which will be for my Birthday, which is towards the end of June....We are all looking forward to that.....! And here is a picture of Betty taken about 6 months or so ago, performing in a Musical done at Reprise, here in Los Angeles....She is amazing and deeply inspiring, too.....!




Lest We Forget......

12:01 AM: In Honor Of Memorial Day, here is a poem from "SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY", by Edgar Lee Masters, written in the early 1900's, but it could have been written today...the characters name is Harry Willmans, and this is what he says:



I was just turned twenty-one,
And Henry Phipps, the Sunday-school superintendent,
Made a speech in Bindle’s Opera House.
“The honor of the flag must be upheld,” he said,
“Whether it be assailed by a barbarous tribe of Tagalogs

Or the greatest power in Europe.”
And we cheered and cheered the speech and the flag he waved
As he spoke.
And I went to the war in spite of my father,
And followed the flag till I saw it raised
By our camp in a rice field near Manila,
And all of us cheered and cheered it.
But there were flies and poisonous things;
And there was the deadly water,
And the cruel heat,
And the sickening, putrid food;
And the smell of the trench just back of the tents
Where the soldiers went to empty themselves;
And there were the whores who followed us, full of syphilis;
And beastly acts between ourselves or alone,
With bullying, hatred, degradation among us,
And days of loathing and nights of fear
To the hour of the charge through the steaming swamp,
Following the flag,
Till I fell with a scream, shot through the guts.
Now there’s a flag over me in Spoon River!
A flag! A flag!




More To Come.....









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47 Comments:
had this to say:

Wow. That's a very well chronicled birthday party, Naomi. I'm impressed you were able to get a good shot of Betty with so much light behind her. The indoor shots were great. It's amazing how much history y'all have together. I was a little shocked to see the pictures of your friend, Annie. She looks so much like an older version of my ex-wife that I almost ran away! LOL

Michele sent me over to see you!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 5:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Inspiring indeed!!! Betty Garrett certainly is, and in spades!!! :)

What a lovely afternoon you ladies had, and what a beautiful birthday!!! I'm glad. :)

Thanks for letting us peek into your special "ladies who lunch" afternoon!!!

PS: still not blogging, have the flu now, grrrr....!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very neat and interesting presents! And that is a gigantic cake! What a zestful gal.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 6:40:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

It is a thrill to see Betty and her dear friends together in such a warm and relaxed gathering. If you knew nothing about this fabulous group of ladies whose lives in the theatre and their friendships span decades, you would think they are photos from any family album. And in so many ways that's what they are...Ladies who Lunch Celebrating a very special friend on a very special occasion. Happy 88th Birthday Betty from across the miles.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 7:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You're pretty amazing and inspiring too, Naomi. I feel like I was right there with you all, thanks to your extraordinary ability to weave words and images into a rich narrative.

I hope Betty reads your blog, because she needs to know what a gifted friend you really are. This is the kind of storytelling that I wish I could pull off. Yet you seem to do it with such ease.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 8:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me. Again! That looked like a really good time. I bet Betty had tons of fun.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 8:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Absolutley faulous! Happy Birthday Betty!!!! Thank you somuch for shairing with us! The pitucrues were butiful! I felt like i was riht in the rooom with you..thank you so much....what a lovely gathering and celbration....
Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 9:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Another wonderful post, Naomi. I am still laughing at what Utenzi said about Annie (looking like his ex-wife, although an older version). Tell Annie I love her jacket! I find it funny that Kim (who is very thin) was the only one to eat all the cake!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 10:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi... you are sO blessed to have so many dear dear DEAR old friends! And we are blessed to have you sharing them all with us! If all of these ladies were "nobodies" you're story would STILL be just as entertaining! It's just the love of the group involved! I LOVE that!


Oh... and did I mention I'm terribly jealous of that big big round table you have!? Imagine seating 8 - easily!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 11:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a wonderful post, Naomi, with a good narrative and perfect pictures. It made to occasion really come to life.

Michele sent me here.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 2:13:00 AM PDT 

Blogger 'L'
had this to say:

Hi there, thank you for visiting my blog. To clear up the confusion, burntofferings has two contributors, me (L) and my husband B. At the moment I do most of the posts.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 4:13:00 AM PDT 

Blogger mf
had this to say:

A delightful post, I love the way you describe everything and what fun to get to see all those neat birthday presents!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 5:44:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

OOOps, I think I did it this time, wrong account!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 5:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I read them both and as always, I felt as if I were there. And, let me tell you, I would have hopped on a plane for that cake! Wowsa! A very Happy Birthday to Betty!

On a day like today, I always think of Shakespeare's St. Crispen's speech from Henry V.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 6:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm telling you Naomi.. my b'day is in March and I want that cake! lol.

I love the photo's of the gift opening and all the laughter. Makes me smile to see everyone laughing so much!

I adore the photo of Betty holding the blue glass gift! And the one from the play too!! I think you gals energize each other!!

Thanks for letting us be part of your party for Betty!!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 8:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love a circle of women friends. It's just so special to grow up together and have all that history.

So glad you had fun..and that cake sure looked wonderful! Yum.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful LWL day and birthday for Betty!! She got some lovely gifts. It's amazing that she is so full of life at her age. That is a true blessing! I love the picture of her doing the musical too! She is an inspiring lady!!

That cake looks so good. Looks like it has layers of like a chocolate pudding inside! Yum!!

Wonderful post as usual dear Naomi. I really enjoyed reading about Betty's party and seeing all the pictures of your wonderful friends!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 10:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I spun my mouse wheel at Michele's and your name came up randomly. (That is fun and I'm meeting a few new friends.)

You throw some party!!! And that lady that can't have chocolate...send her share to me and I'll send her a letter telling her how wonderful it was.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 11:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Terrific second half to Betty's party.
I believe I COULD have finished a piece of that cake along with Kim. Yummy chocolate!!!!
Betty truly is a gem.

Along with you, I thank all those who have given their lives in service to our nation. Many selfless men and women have served on our behalf. I am so grateful to them.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 11:46:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, my birthday is in September. Who can you round up to help celebrate my 46 years in the world?! ;)

It seemed like a truly lovely afternoon among such good friends. May you share many more days such as that one!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 12:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Two very wonderful posts - thank you so much for sharing that with us! There is nothing like getting together with our girl friends is there? :)

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 1:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back, Naomi, and I meant to tell you earlier that my daughter is in LA with our nephew this weekend. They attended the Star Wars Convention yesterday, and the little guy (11) was mesmerized! I wish I had gone with them, so I could come and visit you!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 1:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a orchid! A very well told birthday party tale.
One of my Grandmother's best friends had Macular Degeneration, a very scary situation I have to say.
Thank you for your good wishes on my upcoming events & for stopping by my blog.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Sounds like a trulyu lovely way to celebrate a birthday!!! Betty is a very lucky lady to have such wonderful friends!

Happy day to you my friend!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Betty is certainly an inspiration and sure doesn't look her age! TO think, she's still working and acting. So I guess it's very true...if you love what you're doing, it's not "work."
What a wonderful birthday celebration you had for her. And the gifts were all so personal. Oh and that cake....what do you think? About a million calories? LOL It looked spectacular!
Thanks so much for sharing all of this.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 3:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I can almsot taste that cake from here....and what fabulous presents! :-) Loved the wooden apple, so clever :-)

Michele sent me to check on Part Two of LWL celebrating Betty's magnificent birthday.

And I hope her show goes from strength to strength.... :-)

That poem sums up the ideal vs the reality of war.....
'You have to be there to know war' I was told once.

[tips invisible hat] to all those who served and supported during peace and war.

cq

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 3:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi I'm back again for part 2 via Michele and I have to say again how wonderful these pictures are. You've captured the excitment and marvellous friendship of this occasion so well! Thanks again for sharing.

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 3:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi, just nipped back to say I have included your question on my weekend answers thingy.

You're always welcome and, as they say - better late than never. :-)

Right [looks at watch] it's 1215am so I'm off to bed.....

cq

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 4:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What an amazing birthday party, Naomi ! Thank you for showing part 2 of Betty's Birthday LWL. party as well !

The glasses and china you had on your table were LOVELY !!!

I adore orchids, so it was fun to see that again...

And the expressions on everyone's faces were so vivid -- the happiness, the mock greed/excitement at the presents, the interest in each-other/what was being said, and how comfortable they all appeared in that group !

The blue pyramid was gorgeous. Blue is my favorite color !

The scarf was VERY nice, too, so fragile and delicate. I like transparent fabrics like chiffons...

Great idea for the book in large print. Do any of the vitamins the opthamologists recommend nowadays help slow the macular degeneration ?

Where did you get the cake ???
I'm partial to the ones at the Ivy, myself (or used to be, that was 10 years ago...)

You know that Shephard's wonderful remark to me was where he had agreed with you -- you had been the comment right before his, and I think he used yours as the 'base' for what he told me...

I appreciate your help, Naomi, truly.... I hope you know it --

Happy Memorial Day !

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 6:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I stop by every so often(from Long Island!!) I love your Birthday party for Betty, she looks wonderful!!!! I wish to age that gracefully!!! Such great friends! :) :) :)

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 6:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Looks like ya'll had one fun time:-).A Happy belated birthday wish to Miss Betty.

I have to say I just love all art that I see in the backgrounds. I see some goodies up on a shelf on the wall that look like pottery or pitchers.

The Orchid was just beautiful. You have a really lovely home Miss Naomi.

Thanks for sharing this special day and your special friends with us :-).

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 8:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That was so heartwarming! I can only hope that my friendships will grow and merge in such an endearing way as I get older....what an awesome group of friends you have!! That cake looked scrumptious. I would like to just shove my face in that sucker! =) And that tote bag you gave her is TO DIE FOR. Gorgeous, gorgeous! That would be great for a day at the park or waterslide....imagine all the snacks I could shove in that thing! Geez, I must be hungry...talking about cake and snacks...hahah

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi -
You would love the festival - it's a Shorts Festival - none longer than 20 minutes and shown in blocks of 3 or 4, so it's quite easy to see them all. A great support for the students as well. And you would love Sedona! Did you know Donald O'Connor and Ann Miller lived here? I had the pleasure of meeting them both - she was always "dolled up" even at the grocery store and he was - well, he was swell!

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Ooh! How wonderful. That party sounds like such a friendly warm adn comfortable event full of celebration and fun. You convey it so well in your words and pictures that I feel I have been allowed to sample just a tiny taste of this experience which is richer than that cake! Oh, and the cake looks sumptuous! :)

Of course, coming from the theatre world myself I do appreciate how special that apple is as a present. The giving of openeing gifts is something I miss.

BTW - the city I live near is famous for it's blue glass. I will send you a link!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 6:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Another wonderful post, Naomi! Love seeing all your dear friends and the beautiful Betty's gifts! Great pictures, too!

Happy Memorial Day! (Belated)

Thanks so much for your kind words about the photos on Venice's post! So sweet of you!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 9:23:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for sharing the pictures.
I'm so glad you had a great party. :)
Betty is so fiesty! I love seeing the pics of her!

Kendra

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 10:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, what a lovely get together.
I loved the story about the apples, and anything patterned after Joseph's Coat (wink). :)

~S

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 11:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What great pictures! I especially liked the "greedy" one of Betty, too funny! You're so fortunate to have such great friends and to have so many close enough to get together with. I have one of those pyramids like Betty's. My sister gave me a clear one. I also like to collect cobalt colored glass. Old bottles are the best when I can find one in cobalt.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 12:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful post! So many great photos of such a fun time~ you ladies do look like you enjoy each other's company!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 12:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Don't you just love people who are good gift getters! Those ARE lovely gifts... :)

Great pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 3:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow 88! She still looks fit and good. You seemed to have lots of fun and pictures are beautiful. I agree with you .... Sheemah is beautiful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 6:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great party! I remember Betty from her "All in the Family" days, and I think I also may have seen "My Sister Eileen."

I passed your blog address on to my mom, who might be interested to see that she and Betty share a birthday (although she is about 14 years younger).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 7:47:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Happy belated birthday to Betty! That cake is really something....!!!! Was it called "death by chocolate"? Never have I ever seen so much chocolate in or on one cake!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 6:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I felt almost like I was there. Betty and all are good sports to be such good blog characters. I love the one of her holding up the blue glass and her new scarf is pretty. The big laughing shots make me feel happy to look at. Happy Birthday to Betty!

Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 9:36:00 AM PDT 

Blogger jac
had this to say:

so beautiful that i cried. thank you so much for sharing your beautiful friendships with us.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 1:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

My gosh, she is an amazing woman. That's exactly what "work" should be though, something we love to do.
I'm totally in awe of you "ladies who lunch" and your long friendships. I'd imagine that is so rare.
I have never seen a chocolate cake like that, I can't even imagine how you'd be able to cut it! lol

Monday, June 4, 2007 at 2:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Nothing like seeing a bunch of "ladies" of a certain age together having fun. They don't call us "old broads" anymore, do they?

Thanks for including the poem in tribute to Memorial Day. Would like to read anything more you might want to share about "Spoon River Anthology."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 1:41:00 AM PDT 

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