You thought I’d already had my birthday? Nope. Today’s the day. THE day.

I wish I could put up a baby picture of me from “back then” but this is the best I can do – this is me in 1964. Yup, I lived in the days before color existed. At least that’s what my kids used to say when they see that picture.

A lot has changed since 1959. “Back in the old days…” yes, that’s how my boys refer to when I was born, photographs were taken with film, they weren’t digital, and they were black and white, not color. (No, this picture wasn’t taken in 1959, it was taken in 1964 – with an old Brownie camera.)

(These are averages across the United States – your mileage may vary.) The average house cost $30,000. The average income was just over $5,000. You could mail a letter for 4 cents. A loaf of bread cost 20 cents. (Hmm, I remember going shopping with my mom in the early 70s and she’d buy ten loaves of bread for a buck.) And a gallon of gas cost around 30 cents (or around 7 cents an imperial litre.)

That was also the year pantyhose were introduced. (I say we lynch the man who invented them. Come on, it had to be a man who invented such a torture machine, right?)

Man hadn’t stepped on the moon, or even been in space yet, but two rhesus monkeys were launched into space that year.

Gigi was given the Oscar for Best Picture at the 1959 ceremony. Since the Oscars are giving for movies for the previous year, I figured I should also mention that the winner of the 1960 Oscar –for a picture released/shown in 1959–was Ben Hur. I have to admit, while I have seen Ben Hur, I’ve never seen Gigi, though I definitely have heard “Thank Heavens for Little Girls.” It wasn’t until I was writing this up that I discovered the storyline – very risque for the 50s:

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. Gaston, the scion of a wealthy Parisian family finds emotional refuge from the superficial lifestyle of upper class Parisian 1900s society with the former mistress of his uncle and her outgoing, tomboy granddaughter, Gigi. When Gaston becomes aware that Gigi has matured into a woman, her grandmother and aunt, who have educated Gigi to be a wealthy man’s mistress, urge the pair to act out their roles but love adds a surprise twist to this delightful turn-of-the 20th century Cinderella story.

Wow – the heroine is a hooker in training. Sounds like a modern day romance novel, doesn’t it? And so the plot bunnies are starting already …


While you’re reading this I’m either getting ready to drive to Canada’s capital Ottawa, I’m on my way there or I’m already there. (You did know Ottawa was the capital, right?) This evening Gizmo Guy’s taking me to my favorite Italian restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market – Mama Grazzi’s. Then tomorrow we’re driving into Quebec (the province of my birth) to stay for a few days at Mont Tremblant. But don’t worry, I’ll still be checking in with you – I made sure the hotel had a high-speed internet available.


So here’s your challenge: in your comment today, tell me about your favorite birthday and why it was special. If you don’t have a favorite memory, then tell me something that happened on the day you were born – i.e. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon or Leonardo DiCaprio was born on the same day (and year) you were. The prize will be the winner’s choice of any of my guest blogger’s books – print or e-copy.


I got up early this morning and edited this post. I suddenly realized that after all the guest blogger’s blogs I’ve tried to add a blurb or something about their work. So today’s my turn. I have two books available for sale, and two free short stories. You’ve probably been ignoring the graphics over on my sidebar, but feel free to poke around there, or on my website. I could give you the whole blurb excerpt thing (which you can find on my website) but I think instead I’ll put up the short video trailers I’ve done. The first one is for Private Property, an erotic romance novella involving two lovers, Mark and Jodi, in what they claim is a no-strings-attached affair. But when Mark tries to surprise Jodi with a chance to fulfill her fantasy of having a menage, they both discover they definitely want strings attached. When the man Mark’s brought in as their third changes up the rules, will it drive them together? Or apart?

If you want to know how Mark and Jodi began their affair, I wrote a short story called First Night that you can download for free.

The second book in the Hauberk Protection series, Personal Protection, follows Mark’s friend Sam, the owner of bodyguard company Hauberk Protection. Sam’s been getting threats, from threatening photos to his condo being burgled. Much to his disgust, his second-in-command insists he must accept his own bodyguards. The blow to the ego is off-set when sassy Rosalinda Ramos is named as head of his detail. But can the two of them keep their eyes, and hands, off each other enough to see what’s really going on?

And just for fun … here’s a little Canadianism slipping in. I wrote Cherry Cottage to celebrate spring. It’s another short story that you can download for free. Enjoy!

Today’s Guest blogger is … Leah!
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44 thoughts on “Today’s Guest blogger is … Leah!

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Okay, I knew this one because when I was in Jedburgh, Scotland I went to the Mary Queen of Scots museum. Feb 8,1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed. I was so moved by a letter from her to the man who was in charge of her estates. She asked him to take care of her loyal servants. I recently found that letter again on a website after looking for it for 12 years.

    I'm singing – Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you…

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Oh, I forgot. THe original version of "Getting Gertie’s Garter" opened at the Hippodrome in NY. What the #(%*#?

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Woohoo, Leah! Happy actual birthday to you! A favorite birthday memory? My then boyfriend (now husband) took me to a yummy dinner and a performance of Le Lapin Agile (a Steve Martin production)–it's been awhile since we've gone on similar dates πŸ˜‰

    Hope your special day is especially terrific, Leah!

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Most memorable birthday wasn't a good one… sweet 16 and only 1 GF and her boyfried and his twin showed up. My boyfriend (it was a bd for him too) decided to babysit his little sister instead… and must have told everyone else the party was called off …. Best one I can remember is in 1971 having a massive kiddie party with loads of friends and cake and playing games in front yard. Oh and then in 89 I met Charles Grant at a homeshow and got to go backstage and talk and meet him personally for about an hour with 5 others. Charles Grant at that time was on Another World…yummy.
    I share my birthday with George Clooney, Bob Segar, Rudolf Valentino and Sigmund Frued. And on that day in history the hindenburg blew up….. I have a feeling that I was meant to suffer many psycosis' and have the feeling the world could crash down on my head…..LOL

    Have a great birthday Leah…. let some of the stress go…!!!

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Hi everyone, and thanks for the birthday wishes.

    Marley – I remember you mentioning the letter. I hadn't realized it had happened on my birthday. "Getting Gertie's Garter" … sheesh, and we keep thinking that "the olden days" were so uptight and restrictive. I guess not.

    Fedora (that is you posting as Frank, isn't it?) Being taken to dinner and a play sounds like a wonderful present. I can see why you changed his status from boyfriend to hubby. πŸ˜‰

    HV. Wow. Your boyfriend sucked if he did that. Glad to hear the '71 party was so much more fun. And I'm glad you said who Charles Grant was – I hadn't a clue.

    Oh, who do I share my birthday with? Mick Jagger – Sir Mick turns 71 today (ZOMG!) Sandra Bullock, Kate Beckinsale, Dorothy Hamill, Helen Mirren, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung and George Bernard Shaw.

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I was born on April 2, 1972. It was Easter Sunday. For years I've heard jokes about being a near miss for April Fool's, but I was a long miss. My birthday is the day the Easter offensive began in Vietnam and that Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist in the 50s

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Hi πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing a great blog post.
    My best birthday was my 21st when my friends and fiance gave me a surprise birthday party and everyone I knew & cared about were there. (Yes, it really WAS a surprise.)
    I was born in August 1969 a week after Woodstock. πŸ™‚
    Love from Northern Ontario
    Have a terrific trip to Ottawa & Quebec!

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:50 am

    My most memorable birthday was the one 7 years ago when my boyfriend (now husband) surprised me with a proposal. From the moment we met he always said he didn't believe in marriage. Was just a piece of paper he didn't need to prove he loved me.
    Without my knowledge, however he had been planning a surprise-proposal which he sprung on me on my 30th birthday. Everyone knew he was going to propose except for me.

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Happy Birthday Leah! Have fun in Ottawa!

    My favourite birthday was the first one with my son. He was about 9 months old. I was holding him on my lap after blowing out the candles and he put his entire hand in the cake, but instead of sticking it in his mouth, he tried feeding me! I had cake all over my face and up my nose. It was awesome!

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:07 am

    Enjoy your trip, Leah! And Happy birthday!

    I don't really have a favorite bday. The last one (Jan 11) was pretty good. My hubby was in Halifax with me and we went to a friends house for dinner and they surprised me with bday cake and stuff. Anyone who knows me well knows i absolutely loathe surprises but that one was great!

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:08 am

    July 16th 1981.
    I was born on the day the first Atom bomb was tested, in 1945. I share my birthday with Ginger Rogers, born in 1911. In 1951 Catcher in the Rye was published. And finally in 1999, JFK Jr's plane went down.

    Oh, and I am not sure if anyone has ever seen this, but if you go to you can select a date, and see all that happened on it πŸ™‚

    Have a GREAT day Leah!! Hopefully the rain will stop!!

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Happy Birthday!
    My favorite birthday was extended to Valentines Day.. We don't celebrate VD as its several days before my birthday and he gets me so much anyways… So I cancled VD.years ago.. Well this one year about 10 ago He(husband) took my car into be serviced.. called me to come get him.. When I got there he told me to pick out the car I wanted as he did not want to pay to have ours fixed.. So I got a cherry red dodge neon.. I loved that car for years… Sold it when we retired two yrs ago.. I still miss it but love telling the story.

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Hey Leah! I was born in Quebec to, actualy I still live here and never left =P I live in Montreal.

    I don't know if there were any major event on my birthday but my birth was kind of special.
    The labor rooms were in renovations when I was born and my dad was holding the lamp for the doctor. My mom suffered for 22hours but when I decided to finally get out, I came out so fast the doctor almost dropped me into the garbage can. Let me explain!
    The doctor was facing my mom with a towel on his knees and the garbage can was just under. I slipped out so fast the doctor some-how didn't catch me and I landed on the towel. Saved by the towel!

  • July 26, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Hey Leah,

    A very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! It sounds like you have a fantastic celebration in the works.

    I got a lot of laughs out of your blog today. Especially the part about the panty hose. Well, let me tell you, as torturous as wearing pantyhose might be, try wearing a girdle or garter belt (talk about uncomfortable) to hold up the nylons and make sure the seams stayed straight. I thank TPTB for seamless nylons & pantyhose! Especially after they figured out one size did NOT fit all! LOL

    I remember GIGI and I believe I saw it in the movie theater but I guess at 15, I was still innocent and naive enough not to realize what the real plot actually was. Guess I'll have to add it to my Netflix queue and watch it again.

    Memorable birthdays? First was my 16th birthday on November 11, 1959 (gee, now you all know how old I am, lol) and I could finally get my driver's license…but alas, here in the states, November 11th is a 'bank holiday' where all banks and government offices are closed, so I had to wait….WAIT mind you…until the 12th to get my license. There was a red, '54 Chevy sitting in the driveway that I inherited from my 2 older brothers who were both in the military by then. It just had to wait another day before I could drive by myself (without that licensed adult with me).

    Then, my 21st birthday so I was old enough to vote & legally buy alcohol. At that time 21 was still legal voting age. It wasn't for a few more years (as a result of the Vietnam war) when voting age was changed to 18.

  • July 26, 2009 at 6:30 am

    oh gosh. can't believe I'm a day late on this. You're off on your well-deserved vacation, but I'll answer anyway.

    I was born the day Lady Bird Johnson's husband became president and everyone called me Beckybird for the longest time. (Sue is my middle name)(Rebecca Sue – a good old tyme southern name).

  • July 26, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Happy Birthday Leah.

    My favorite birthday was in 2003. My husband and I had just returned from our honeymoon and he threw a surprise party for my birthday. I was so touched.

  • July 26, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Happy Birthday Leah!! Hope you have a great trip!!

    My favorite birthday was this past year. My hubby cooked and made me cupcakes for my birthday. The best thing though was he did the dishes. Yea!!!!! I share a birthday with Dolly Parton and the late Janis Joplin. What a couple of ladies.

    Have a great day.

  • July 26, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Happy birthday, Leah!! Hope you and Gizmo Guy have a fabulous time in Ottawa.

    My fave birthday memory was of my 18th birthday. My (then) best friend (now hub) and I had been skirting around each other doing the "will they, won't they" dance, and I kept hearing from people "he likes you"! I kept asking "how do you know?" And they'd just say "Can't you tell?" It turns out he threw me a surprise party in the dorms – rented out the party room there. His band played, and we had about 50 friends there. He paid for the whole thing. After a dinner of Chinese food with my friends (how they kept me away), we arrived at the party, and they said "That's how we knew!". We'd already been inseparable, but after that, we were forever together.

    Hope you have a wonderful, fabulous birthday!!

  • July 26, 2009 at 7:51 am


    I guess my favourite was my 50th. I had a lot of friends and family over all day, it was kinda open house….hehe!!!

    I had asked for money gifts because that year I was going to make my first trip to the States and meet some friends I'd met online. I had almost my ticket together from birthday money alone and I had a wonderful three weeks in the States.


  • July 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Happy Actual Birthday, Leah!!!

    And according to Wikipedia, these are the only noteworthy things that happened on my birthdate–January 25th, 1971…..

    1971 – Charles Manson and three female "Family" members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
    1971 – Idi Amin leads a coup deposing Milton Obote and becomes Uganda's president.
    1971 – Himachal Pradesh becomes the 18th Indian state.

  • July 26, 2009 at 8:28 am


    For a long time, my favorite birthday was my 25th. I went to Paris — my first ever trip to Europe — with my then-boyfriend and our good friend. We saw the sights all day and then the took me to a restaurant called Aquarius (I am a January baby) and out to hear some French jazz. Pretty hard to top that!

    Except this year, 42, my husband and daughter and I had the nicest day cooking together and ice skating. I know, it's not as dramatic as the 25th, but it was still pretty special.

    I hope you enjoy YOUR birthday dinner in Ottawa!


  • July 26, 2009 at 8:37 am

    This year's birthday was the best. I turned 40. On the day of my birthday, I was taken to see Christopher Moore talk at a local independent book store. Then I was taken to one of my favorite restaurants for a really fantastic steak dinner: complete with balloons and flowers. Then my partner threw me a surprise birthday party at a friend's house 9 days later. It seemed like the month-long birthday.

  • July 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    My favorite birthday would have to be when I turned 16. we have a cabin up at bass lake that is three stories and we rent it out during the summer but we kept it for a week for my birthday. I got to ask three of my friends to come and we spent a whole week up there. We went hiking and exploring the falls and went out on our boat.
    lexeetoste at

  • July 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Happy Birthday. I was born February 1974. I don't know what my favorite birthday would be. How sad is that? My husband tries every year to get someone to watch our kids overnight (we have 4) so we can get away and have a break. So every year is pretty special, because it is our own little, very mini, vacation!

    Amy M

  • July 26, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Happy birthday, Leah!!! I hope you have a fantastic birthday trip πŸ˜€
    Hm… nothing great has happened on my birthday – at least, nothing really happy according to the wikipedia article I found. Something unique? I "celebrated" my 16th birthday in Taiwan. (Actually nothing really special happened, and it was something of a letdown because 16 isn't a big birthday there and they count age a bit different so by their calculations I was turning 17?) Heh. So – maybe that's my "special" thing. I missed my sixteenth birthday O_o
    I did force my dad to buy me a cake though – shaped like a heart, with white chocolate shavings all over it. πŸ˜€ It was a good cake.

  • July 26, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Happy Birthday Leah..have a great day in Ottawa (I'm only 20 min outside of Ottawa)

    nothing real special has happened on my birthday,they were the usual kid birthday parties,as I got older I didn't really care to celebrate it.

    So an event that happened on my birthday was this year..June 25,Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died. πŸ™


  • July 26, 2009 at 9:30 am


    Have fun on your birthday. My most memorable was the first year of marriage, hubby took me to a hoity toity harbor cruise in San Francisco bay. It was so romantic. We were decked out like the Prince and Cinderella, even had champagne. Whoohoo.

  • July 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Happy birthday, Leah!

    On my 20th birthday, I was supposed to meet some friends at a restaurant to study. When I got to the restaurant, only my boyfriend was there, waiting with roses. After he and I left the restaurant and headed home, I remember that it was snowing heavily and the world seemed still and clean and magical and I was utterly happy.

  • July 26, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Happy Birthday!

    My favorite birthday was when one of my cousins was visiting from Canada.

  • July 26, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Happy Birthday from another who was born way back then πŸ˜‰

    With so many behind me it's hard to remember them all but one that stands out is my 10th.

    It started with me being diagnosed as aneamic after fainting in class and ended with me getting the only present I had asked for. It was a cuddly rabbit that I gave to my eldest years later.

  • July 26, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Hey birthday girl, hope you and gizmo guy have a fabulous day.

    The year I was born, 1956, Elvis made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

  • July 26, 2009 at 11:21 am

    my 16th birthday where I received a long stemmed red rose from the family and had a great supper.

  • July 26, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Happy Birthday, Leah!

    A German U Boat sunk the S.S. Ben Lomond off the coast of Brazil on November 23, 1942.

  • July 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Happy Birthday and fun post πŸ˜€

    Hm happy memory, well dinner with my bf and knowing he is the one.

    For some fun facts:
    1819 – Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.

  • July 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Happy Birthday!!

    hum fav birthday memory id have to say was my 21st one thing u should never do is let a intoxicated person have acess to a cell phone or leave the car to use a public bathroom is all ima say on that i found some cool facts about the day i was born

    Kilauea begins slowly erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii and is still flowing as of today .

    Tony Dorsett sets NFL record with 99-yd rush, Dallas vs Minnesota

    i share a birthday with
    J.R.R. Tolkien , Victoria Principal, Mel Gibson

    Aretha Franklin becomes first woman inducted into Rock and Roll hall of fame. on jan 3rd 1987

    how cool is that a lot of awesome things happen on my birthday lol

  • July 26, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Happy Birthday, Leah. Have fun in Quebec. A few years ago my cousin surprised me with a plane ticket to Amsterdam. We had a great time.

  • July 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    My favorite Birthday happened this past weekend. I went to a brunch in a really cute restaurant in the city and to the circus. Who said turning old can't be fun?

    Happy Birthday!

    Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  • July 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    My favorite b-day was my most recent one. My BF made cards to me from him and separate ones from all of our pets. Then he led me on a "treasure hunt" with clues to find my gifts! It was really fun.

  • July 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I was born on Frank Sinatra's birthday. Cool?

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Wow! I go away for half a day and log in to find so many birthday wishes.

    And so many great memories. For those of you who don't have any to share – here's hoping that your next one will be "the one."

    We had a lovely trip – sunny almost all the way. Though from the sounds of the rained out Canadian Open golf tournament in Toronto we left it behind us. Dinner was delicious – spinach pasta with pine nuts & raisins in a creamy tomato sauce & a dollop of ricotta. For dessert? I ordered a torrone (I took a picture but have to figure out how to get it from my phone to my blog) which resembles a slide of a toblerone bar only about ten times bigger (three slices) with white chocolate shell and crushed pistachio on the outside. It was too sweet so I switched with Gizmo Guy who gave up a slice of 4" high Chocolate pecan pie that had some Jack Daniels in it. We are both zipping around the room on a sugar rush, LOL.

    I'll post the winners on tomorrow's blog before I left for Mt. Tremblant.

    And thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

  • July 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Happy Birthday! Hope it has been a great one.

    On May 18th.. Napoleon became Emperor of France, Lincoln was nominated for President,
    Pope John Paul 2nd was born, & Mount St. Helens erupted.
    Maybe not best but most memorable was my 21st .. My sisters & friends took me to the largest & most
    popular bar in town [the only one I hadn't been able to get into before πŸ™‚ ] .. They had a singing telegram
    come.. when the bar was most crowded.. the guy showed up in a frog suit & stripped down to a prince costume.
    I wanted to hide under the table..

    Hope you have a great celebration week…
    Thanks for including us in your birthday bash.
    ioki_jo at hotmail dot com

  • July 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    My favorite birthday was my 26th. I had gotten married 5 1/2 months earlier and my son was born 2 weeks later.

    lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

  • July 26, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Happy Birthday, Leah! This was a fun post. I hope you enjoy your trip. Right now, I can't think of a special birthday really standing out, they are all special.

  • July 27, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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