“To desire without any wish for attachment is a high aim” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Colleen Marte by ©Lori Maloney

“Colleen loves the outdoors and especially loves playing in the outdoors with her dogs, Keisha & Kova…and so that is exactly what we did!  Keisha and Kova were more interested in playing than posing (understandably!) and so I am so pleased we got a great shot of all three of them together!  We all got wet on this shoot and it was totally worth it! Thanks again for participating in The Birthday Book Project, Colleen!” – Lori M

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Colleen

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. My 40th birthday, I threw myself a big birthday party. I have a lot of friends from different groups. It was great getting everyone together as most of them didn’t know each other. My birthday is in the dead of winter, right after Christmas and New Years so everyone is usually broke and partied out. So I had my birthday at the end of January. It turned out to be the coldest day of winter (-32°). Colder with the wind chill. I had a hot tub outside and a bonfire. Most of the people spent the evening outside despite the conditions. From the fire to the hot tub, rolling in the snow, eating from the chocolate fountain and dancing until 2am. It was a blast!

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Years ago (a lifetime really) it was decided in my household to change the day we celebrated my birthday from January 3rd to August 15th. I had always wanted a warm birthday. This was successful for a couple of years until August 15th was forgotten. So both my birthdays were missed. It was the worst!

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. I love to spend my birthday some place warm. One year it was on a beach in Guatemala. I was down there with a friend, my brother and his wife. That morning was 30° and somewhere my brother was able to find a piece of cake and deliver it to me on the beach. Where he found that piece of cake in the extremely small community (it was was a low key vacation not a resort type) I have no idea – but it was very special.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Birthday cake! Must have cake.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Good friends and family sharing celebrations with people you love.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. We have a family recipe for a poppy seed cake. My two brothers birthdays are one after another, Aug 1 & 2. Every year I travel out to BC to celebrate with them and their favourite cake is that poppy seed cake so every year I make the cake and decorate it. I gave the recipe to my sisters-in-law but apparently they have no luck in making the cake, they even accused me of not sharing the true recipe with them. So every year, often in 35° to 40° heat, I make and decorate a cake, often big enough to feed the 20 plus people celebrating with us on the August long weekend.