For the person who has everything…

For the person who has everything…

Tuesday, August 23 was my 50th birthday. Friends took me out for lunch. One friend gave me a card – and you just can’t make this stuff up – that said “Since you seem destined for world domination, this small birthday gift seemed appropriate.” And she handed me this beautiful globe (see below). Then we finished the outstanding cake another friend made and the building began shaking with a 5.8 magnitude earthquake! Can’t decide what to get a friend for a unique birthday gift? Give them homemade chocolate cake, a globe, and their very own earthquake!

Remember the quake on August 23, 2011? Here's the reason! Thanks Jody!

This is the crowd who helped me celebrate my birthday. Me on the left and Evelyn next to me. Sue is on Evelyn’s left; she made the cake. See it in front of her? Now it’s mostly inside of me. I almost finished the whole thing that evening. It fueled more training this week plus a special 50th Birthday Edition Appalachian Trail Hike and Campout with Mackey and Roux last night. Marcia is next; she’s the ringleader. Our raison d’etre. She started our whole lunch group a year or so ago. Thank goodness!  Jody (right) gave me the globe. That’s it in the little box in front of me. This picture was taken before the quake. Look at Jody’s face. Doesn’t it look like she knows something’s about to happen? I’ve known her a long time; she’s known for her unique gifts. A globe and an earthquake on the same day? Coincidence? I am so sure.

My birthday pals - pre-quake!

Once again it’s been far too long since my last post. I’m working a lot and having a lot of fun. Often simultaneously. Plus since my birthday was this week I’ve had – and continue to have – lots going on. I’m in the fourth week of ironman training. I’m happy this is the first recovery week. I’ve been seeing lots of this:

Swim (a lot)


Bike (a lot)

And this:

Run (a lot)

Of course I’ve been swimming in the pool and riding my bike and wearing my shoes but you get your camera real wet or ride off the road or run into things if you try to take a picture of yourself so this is just to give you an idea.

Another thing that’s been fueling my workouts – that’s always fueled my workouts – is delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On whole wheat toast. They are just so delicious. Evelyn raised the quality of the sandwiches this year when she gave me Reginald’s Home Made Crunchy All-Natural Original Roast Peanut Butter and my absolute favorite jelly, Graves Mountain Blackberry Preserves. Toast my favorite bread, Prairie Grain Bread Company Nine Grain Bread – all three products are made here in Virginia – and make a PB&J with those ingredients and you’ve got the best fuel going. Best tasting and most energizing.

High powered training and racing fuel

Speaking of great tasting and energizing food – it’s not like I could write about that without mentioning chocolate. In addition to Sue’s cake, Evelyn gave me Fox’s U-bet Original Chocolate Flavor Syrup to make my own chocolate milk. Alex gave me Hachez Cocoa D’Arriba Mango Chili 77% dark chocolate.

And Lee and his kids brought over this pillow cake plus flowers they grew in their garden plus three of the most beautiful hand-made cards you have ever seen. The cards are unique and sincere and creative and colorful and warm and cheerful and thoughtful and who could ever hope for better and more meaningful gifts?

I've got the best neighbors in the WORLD!!

And Evelyn knew I had my eye on some colorful handmade forks and spoons from the South of the James Farmers Market; check this stuff out:

Look at those CARDS! Those FORKS and SPOONS! That CHOCOLATE!

I have dozens of pictures from the campout; it deserves its own post. But here’s one from down at the shelter. There was only one person there; he took this just before he left. Roux was already wanting to be hiking!:

Those are hiking dogs and they're ready to hike! Especially Roux!

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Endurance, Flowers, Fun, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to For the person who has everything…

  1. okilloran says:

    What a fantastic birthday week you’ve had!! Happy 50th to an incredible guy! And many, many more…! Also agree w/you about PB&J sandwiches, I grew up on those – do you toast the bread? Yummy…the peanut butter gets a little goey, it’s wonderful. Hope to see you soon. Patti

  2. okilloran says:

    Just re-read the post and it says that you toast the bread, so you’re “on” to the secret of truly scrumptious PB&Js! 🙂

    • Hi Patti,
      Great to hear from you, as always. Speaking of PB&J’s, we’re still due for lunch! And yes, toasting is the little-known secret of truly outstanding PB&J’s. They become an entirely different sandwich. I took two with me on my campout this week! And I always bring along a couple to eat during ironmans – they’re Nature’s Perfect Food! And that Reginald’s Peanut Butter is outstanding. Have a great day,


  3. kara says:

    what a week you have had, I loved reading about it…happy birthday Jay!

  4. Thanks Kara – it’s been (and continues to be) a fantastic week. And the birthday cards from the kids are amazing! And the flowers are still holding up! And the Pillow Cake was delicious – while it lasted! Have a great day,


    PS I should have put up a picture of Lucy – she ran around with us some earlier this week!

  5. Evelyn says:

    Jay, it was so much fun being in your birthday orbit! What a memorable 50th you are having. Thanks for sharing, as always.

    • I am fortunate to have such wonderful people to share it with – this is a great orbit. The people I’m able to share it with are what’s making it memorable! Thanks and have a great day,


  6. Barbara Mann says:

    HAPPY BIRTHMONTH JAY!!!!!!! You are going to have your best year yet– ’cause you will make it so!!!


  7. Justin Smith says:

    That was an impressive birthquake; thanks for sharing it with the rest of us (nobody got hurt, right?)

  8. Glad you enjoyed it Justin – there was plenty to go around. And to the best of my knowledge no one was hurt. It certainly was memorable though! Take it easy,


  9. Pingback: Counting down… | NEWFAZE

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